Section 314(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act, permits financial institutions and associations of financial institutions to voluntarily share information with one another, under a safe harbor, for the purpose of identifying and reporting activities that may involve possible money laundering or terrorist activity.
In order to receive the protection of the safe harbor, credit unions must comply with certain regulatory requirements, which include:
FinCEN issued guidance in 2009 clarifying that 314(b) program participants may share information relating to transactions that an institution suspects may involve the proceeds of one or more specified unlawful activities (SUAs). The SUAs listed included “an array of fraudulent and other criminal activities,” including fraudulent bank entries, fraudulent federal credit institution entries, fraudulent loan or credit application, computer fraud and abuse and more.
According to the FinCEN guidance, “information related to the SUAs may be shared appropriately within the 314(b) safe harbor to the extent that the financial institution suspects that the transaction may involve the proceeds of one or more SUAs, and the purpose of the permitted information sharing under the 314(b) rule is to identify and report activities that the financial institution suspects may involve possible terrorist activity or money laundering.”
A recent CUNA CompBlog entry contains more information on sharing information under the safe harbor, as well as links to a November 2016 fact sheet, the 2009 guidance, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Bank Secrecy Act-Anti-Money Laundering examination manual and CUNA’s e-Guide on the Bank Secrecy Act.