ITG FAQ #4 Answer-What are the recordkeeping requirements for check cashers?

Check cashers must maintain certain records for five years, including:

  • copies of all filed CTRs,
  • a copy of registration, if applicable, and
  • all records created from the AML Program requirements.

Check cashers are not required to maintain any additional records under BSA regulations; however, FinCEN believes that an argument can be made that an AML compliance program that does not maintain records or copies of checks cashed is not reasonably designed to insure compliance with the BSA. For example, if the check casher did not keep these records, its internal controls could not ensure that employees are filing CTRs properly. Also, the check casher's AML program requirement to provide for independent review (to monitor and maintain an adequate program) would be problematic in the absence of any records of checks cashed. FinCEN does caution that the effectiveness of a check casher's internal controls might depend on what other kinds of records the check casher keeps, for example:

  • bank statements list individual deposits,
  • deposit slip lists individual checks, or
  • system generated bank deposit slips provide individual check detail,

If the check casher maintains these records, it might not need additional internal controls, such as maintaining records of checks cashed.

Check cashers are not subject to the requirement to report suspicious activity, for example, a business that is involved exclusively in check cashing has no requirement to file a SAR. However, if they provide other money services which have a suspicious activity reporting requirement, and the check cashing transaction is part of the suspicious activity, then the check cashing activity must be reported in the SAR. Copies of the SARs and any supporting documentation, which may include a copy of a check cashed, must then be kept for five years.

The current annual agent list and agent list(s) for the past five years must also be maintained, if applicable.

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