Bank Secrecy Act - BSA

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Bank Secrecy Act - BSA'

Government legislation that was created in 1970 to prevent financial institutions from being used as tools by criminals to hide or launder their ill-gotten gains. This is achieved by requiring banks and other financial institution to provide documentation (such as currency transaction reports) whenever clients deal with transactions that involve substantial sums of money ($10,000 or more) that appear to be suspicious. This way, authorities have the ability to easily reconstruct the entire situation.

Also known as "Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act".

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Bank Secrecy Act - BSA'

This is not to say that every transaction exceeding $10,000 is documented. The BSA has a list of exceptions that do not require documentation. Government departments/agencies and companies listed on the major North American exchanges are two examples of exempt parties.

While this act is useful in fighting criminal activity, as with all matters of privacy, the act is somewhat controversial as there are very few guidelines defining what is considered suspicious and law enforcement agencies do not need to get a court order to gain access to the information.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Conference Of State Bank Supervisors ...

    A national organization founded in 1902 to further advance the ...
  2. Financial Privacy

    A term used to encompass a wide variety of privacy issues. It ...
  3. Suspicious Activity Report - SAR

    One of the tools provided under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) as ...
  4. Transaction

    1. An agreement between a buyer and a seller to exchange goods, ...
  5. Money Laundering

    The process of creating the appearance that large amounts of ...
  6. Insider Trading

    The buying or selling of a security by someone who has access ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Handcuffs And Smoking Guns: The Criminal Elements Of Wall Street

    From godfathers to perps, familiarize yourself with the "criminal elements" creeping around Wall Street.
  2. Retirement

    The Ghouls And Monsters On Wall Street

    Learn about some of the creepiest cases of fraud and the characters behind them.
  3. Taxes

    Is It Smart To Get Dual Citizenship?

    Does it ever make sense to be a citizen of the U.S. and somewhere else? Yes, so you can work minus a visa – not so much, if you get drafted into the army.
  4. Retirement

    Expat In America: Visas To Retire In the U.S.

    It isn't easy for non-citizens to retire in the United States unless a family member is already a citizen. But some visas will allow for longer visits
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Impact of the Janus Market Timing Ruling

    A look at the impact of the Janus Supreme Court ruling on market timing.
  6. Options & Futures

    Get To Know These Crucial US Options Market Regulations

    How are options regulated in the U.S and which organizations are involved in options market regulations?
  7. Economics

    The Impact Of Ending The US Embargo On Cuba

    Many argue that ending the US embargo on Cuba will not only make US consumers happy, but also help the US economy and bring more freedoms to Cuba.
  8. Economics

    Popular Places Where U.S. Citizens Need A Visa

    A U.S. passport will get you into many countries, but not everywhere. Here's how to visit five of the most popular destinations that require visas.
  9. Economics

    Are You the Victim of Unfair Labor Practices?

    If you are a union member, a union leader, or a manager at a company with an established union, you should understand unfair labor practices.
  10. Investing News

    What Affirmative Action Means for Regular Business

    What Affirmative Action means for your businesses today.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Interest Rate Risk

    The risk that an investment's value will change due to a change in the absolute level of interest rates, in the spread between ...
  2. Income Effect

    In the context of economic theory, the income effect is the change in an individual's or economy's income and how that change ...
  3. Price-To-Sales Ratio - PSR

    A valuation ratio that compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the ...
  4. Hurdle Rate

    The minimum rate of return on a project or investment required by a manager or investor. In order to compensate for risk, ...
  5. Market Value

    The price an asset would fetch in the marketplace. Market value is also commonly used to refer to the market capitalization ...
  6. Preference Shares

    Company stock with dividends that are paid to shareholders before common stock dividends are paid out. In the event of a ...
Trading Center