Drop in SAR Filings Reflects Fewer MSBs, Stronger Compliance, Say Industry Observers

By Matt Squire

The number of suspicious activity reports filed by U.S. money services businesses declined by eight percent in 2008, the first drop in such reporting by any financial sector since 1997. Overall, the reports submitted to the U.S. Treasury Department by the businesses dropped by 46,678, to 531,761, according to a July 7 report by the department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In comparison, the number of SARs filed by depository institutions increased by 13 percent in 2008, to 732,563, according to FinCEN. The number of reports associated with suspect money orders also fell by 27 percent in 2008, from a...