Financial institutions that have been affected by Hurricane Florence are encouraged to contact regulators if they think they will experience delays in required Bank Secrecy Act report filings, according to notices from Treasury’s financial crimes unit posted Wednesday.
In a second notice, FinCEN also said Hurricane Florence victims in affected areas of North Carolina have until Jan. 31, 2019, to file their Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account (FBAR) forms for the 2017 calendar year. This report would otherwise be due Oct. 15, 2018, it said.
In the first notice, FinCEN urged institutions to contact their functional regulators as well as FinCEN “as soon as practicable” to discuss any delays in their ability to submit the reports; these contacts can be made by email to FRC@fincen.gov. “In light of the evolving nature of the various recovery efforts, financial institutions are also encouraged to keep FinCEN and their functional regulators informed as their circumstances change,” the agency added.
It also reminded of the potential for fraudulent transactions in the wake of disasters, including hurricanes, and provided a link to a previous advisory on how institutions can detect such instances.
In the second notice, the agency said the expanded FBAR relief is available to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. “Currently, the following counties in North Carolina are eligible for individual assistance: Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, and Pender. Should FBAR filers in other localities affected by Hurricane Florence be deemed eligible for individual assistance at a later date, they will automatically receive the same filing relief,” it stated.
The notice added that FinCEN will work with any FBAR filer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records required to meet the deadline are located in the affected area regardless of where the filer resides.
FinCEN Advisory (FIN-2017-A007)