Tips on Preparing Thorough SAR Forms

The following tips were offered by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to help financial institutions in filing a SAR.

  • Provide a detailed description of the known or suspected violation of law or suspicious activity in the narrative section of the SAR. Even if you do not have detailed suspect information (e.g., in situations involving non-account holders), you should include as much information as possible.
  • Never attach supporting documents to the SAR. Describe any documentation relating to the suspicious activity in the narrative section and always retain the actual documents for a minimum of five years.
  • Use the financial institution's standard name when identifying the reporting agency on the SAR. Also include the employee identification number (EIN) and a complete address. Always identify your primary regulator. Use whole dollar amounts (no cents) when reporting the amount involved. If the suspicious activity involves no actual funds, enter "0" on the form. If a suspicious activity involves foreign currency, report the transaction using dollars and include in the narrative the type and name of the foreign currency, the transaction amount and the conversion rate used to reach the U.S. dollar figure.
  • File the SAR with the IRS' Detroit Computing Center (DCC). Magnetically filed (disk) and paper SARS should be addressed to:

Detroit Computing Center
PO Box 33980
Detroit, MI 48232-0908

*reprinted from NCUA News, February/March 2001, Number 2