So, What Happens to SARs?

With investment advisers encouraged to begin filing suspicious activity reports (SARs) as soon as possible upon the issuance of the final anti-money laundering rule, some have wondered, what exactly happens with the reports after they’ve been filed?

The SEC’s Enforcement Division has an Office of Market Intelligence, which does look at closely at all of the filed reports. Within that group, there’s a Bank Secrecy Act Review Group that really focuses in further.

In a February 2015 speech by Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, he noted that this group reviews the SAR filings within two weeks:

“In the course of a year, this group reviews between 27,000 and 30,000 SARs. If a SAR is filed by a broker-dealer, that group will see it, along with any other SARs filed by any other type of financial institution about any entity, person or transaction within our jurisdiction. On average, the group reviews your SARs within two weeks of filing; researches the allegations; and passes them along to examination and enforcement staff throughout the country as relevant.”

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