Do Banks Need To Report Attempted Money Laundering Transactions


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    Do Banks Need To Report Attempted Money Laundering Transactions

    When you think about money laundering, what do you see? Maybe images of drug lords and criminals stuffing cash into mattresses or suitcase to escape detection. That’s not the reality of money laundering, of course. In fact, most of the time, money laundering is a very deliberate process that takes a lot of planning and orchestration. But even if it’s not as flashy as some people might think, money laundering is still an issue that banks need to be aware of. That’s because attempted money laundering is a crime that banks can get fined for not reporting. So if you’re thinking about trying to move some dirty cash around, make sure to check with your bank first. It could save you from some serious trouble down the line.


    Banks are increasingly being asked to report attempted money laundering transactions. The reason for this is that banks can help to identify and stop potential financial crimes.

    A money laundering transaction is an attempt to disguise the origin of money or to move money from one place to another without being detected. This can be done by altering the original currency, transferring it through different accounts, or using a variety of other methods.

    Banks play an important role in detecting and preventing money laundering. They can look at a variety of factors when conducting their reviews, including:
    1) Financial history
    2) Relationship history
    3) Transactions related to the account
    4) Use of suspicious methods of payment
    5) Changes in spending patterns
    6) Mixing payments with legitimate ones

    Do Banks EverReport Money Laundering Transactions?

    Banks have been required to report money laundering transactions to the government since 2007, but this reporting requirement is not always followed. In January of this year, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released a report stating that bank compliance with anti-money laundering reporting requirements was “weak” and that banks were not effectively identifying suspicious activity. The OCC’s report focused on financial institutions in California and Florida, two states with high levels of money laundering activity.

    According to the OCC, banks should identify Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) from their customers based on four factors: 1) whether the customer appears to be conducting business in an unusual or suspicious manner; 2) whether funds are coming from unusual or suspicious sources; 3) whether there is evidence of fraud or illicit activity; and 4) whether there is a link between the customer and known terrorist organizations. However, banks are only required to follow these tips if they suspect money laundering activity – if they do not have a suspicion, they are not obligated to report anything.

    Banks also need to file Suspicious Activity Reports when they learn about any potential links between their customers and illegal activities such as drug trafficking or terrorism. However, it is unclear how often this happens because banks are not required to disclose how many reports they file or what type of reports they file.

    Overall, banks appear to be struggling to comply with their anti-money laundering reporting obligations.

    What Is Required To Report A Money Laundering Transaction?

    What is required to report attempted money laundering transactions?

    The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) requires banks to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) when they have knowledge of any attempt to commit or facilitate a financial crime. A SAR must include information about the person or entity attempting to commit a financial crime, the type of financial crime being attempted, and the monetary value of any proceeds that may have been obtained as a result of the attempted crime. In order for a bank to file an SAR, it must have reasonable grounds to believe that the transaction may be related to money laundering.

    Would Filing A False Report Cause Any Harm To The Bank?

    Attempted money laundering transactions are not typically considered to be major financial crimes, and banks are not typically required to report these types of activities to the government. In fact, some banks may view reports of attempted money laundering as a sign that their customers are engaging in legitimate financial transactions. Filing a false report may cause harm to the bank if it leads authorities to believe that the bank is complicit in a crime.


    Attempted money laundering transactions are not typically considered to be criminal activity, and banks may not report them to the authorities. This is because banks do not view attempted money laundering as a successful crime – it is simply an attempt that was not successful due to some obstacle.

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