Bank Secrecy Act

The “Bank Secrecy Act” is a U.S. Law that requires financial institutions to assist the U.S. Government in detecting and preventing money laundering. The full name of the Act is “The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970” (or “BSA”), and is available at: 31 U.S.C. 5311-5330 and implemented as rules at 31 C.F.R. 103.

The Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (or BSA, or otherwise known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act) requires U.S.A. financial institutions to assist U.S. government agencies to detect and prevent money laundering. Specifically, the act requires financial institutions to keep records of cash purchases of negotiable instruments, file reports of cash transactions exceeding $10,000 (daily aggregate amount), and to report suspicious activity that might signify money laundering, tax evasion, or other criminal activities. It was passed by the Congress of the United States in 1970. The BSA is sometimes referred to as an “anti-money laundering” law (“AML”) or jointly as “BSA/AML”. Several anti-money laundering acts, including provisions in title III of the USA PATRIOT Act, have been enacted up to the present to amend the BSA. (See 31 USC 5311-5330 and 31 CFR 103.)

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