What is Section 314(b)?
Section 314(b) is a provision of the USA PATRIOT Act, introduced in 2001. It provides financial institutions the ability to share information with one another, under a safe harbor that offers protections from liability, to better identify and report activities that may involve money laundering, fraud or terrorist activities. Participation in Section 314(b) information sharing is completely voluntary but strongly encouraged by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for financial institutions to participate.
Key Benefits of 314(b) for Credit Unions:
- Enhanced Security: 314(b) allows credit unions to collaborate with other financial institutions to identify suspicious activities that may not be apparent when viewed in isolation.
- Timely Reporting: Credit unions can share information with one another promptly, facilitating the detection and reporting of potentially suspicious transactions. Prompt resolution with Alloya may prevent future wires from being sent, and in turn, provide better service to members.
- Legal Protection: The USA PATRIOT Act provides legal immunity to financial institutions that participate in 314(b) information sharing. This means that credit unions can share information without fear of legal repercussions, further incentivizing cooperation.
How to Register for 314(b) Information Sharing:
- Identify a Contact Person: Designate an individual within your credit union as the point of contact for 314(b) activities. This person will be responsible for communication and coordination with other participating financial institutions.
- Access the FinCEN Portal: The registration process is facilitated through the FinCEN portal. You'll need to have an account on this portal to proceed.
- Log In and Complete the Registration Form: Once logged in, access the 314(b) registration form, which is typically available under the "314(b) Information Sharing" section. Complete all required fields accurately.
- Review and Confirm: Carefully review the information you've provided and ensure its accuracy. Any mistakes could lead to delays in the registration process.
- Submit the Form: After confirming the accuracy of your information, submit the registration form electronically through the FinCEN portal.
- Wait for Approval: FinCEN will review your registration request and, if everything is in order, approve your credit union's participation in the 314(b) program.
- Start Information Sharing: Once approved, your credit union can begin sharing information with other participating financial institutions to enhance security and combat financial crimes.