The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) requires certain financial institutions to file Suspicious Activities Reports (“SARs”) in order to enable law enforcement to initiate or supplement major money laundering or terrorist financing investigations and other criminal cases. Financial institutions use the SAR to document and report suspicious or potentially suspicious activity among their clients. The report has a narrative format, requiring financial institutions to document all suspicious activity concisely and in chronological order.
In general, a SAR narrative should identify the five essential elements of information – who? what? when? where? and why?