Bank Secrecy Act:

Surveys of Financial Institutions and CTR Users (GAO-08-385SP, February 2008), an E-supplement to GAO-08-355

GAO-08-385SP: Published: Feb 21, 2008. Publicly Released: Feb 21, 2008.

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This product lists the questions asked and the summary results from two GAO sample surveys: one of U.S. depository institutions filing at least 120 Currency Transaction Reports (CTR) in 2006, and another of all state and local law enforcement agencies authorized to access CTR data through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN) Gateway Program as of May 2007. The Web-based survey of compliance officers or other officials of U.S. depository institutions asked questions about each institution's experience filing CTRs, the use of exemptions from CTR filing, and opinions on possible changes to the CTR filing process. This survey was administered to a random sample of 680 depository institutions, stratified by asset size and institution type, drawn from the eligible population of 3,880 banks and credit unions filing more than 120 CTRs in 2006. Usable responses were received from 469 institutions, for a response rate of 68 percent. The actual number of responses to individual questions may vary, however, depending on the number of institutions eligible to answer a particular question and the number actually providing a response. Because these percentages are subject to sampling error, each of the estimates from this survey is accompanied by a 95 percent confidence interval, which indicates the range we would expect to include the actual population value in 95 percent of the samples we could have drawn. Names and e-mail addresses for officials at sampled institutions were obtained from the institutions' respective regulators. GAO began this survey in September 2007 by e-mailing unique survey ID numbers and passwords; followed up with nonrespondents by e-mail and telephone; and closed the survey in October 2007. The Web-based survey of state and local law enforcement agencies asked questions about each agency's use of CTRs, views on the usefulness of CTRs, and opinions on possible changes to CTR filing requirements. This survey was administered to all 115 state and local agencies that had access to CTR data through the Gateway Program as of May 2007, according to FinCEN records. Usable responses were received from 89 agencies, for a response rate of 77 percent. As with the depository institution survey, the actual number of responses to individual questions may vary, depending on the number of agencies eligible to answer a particular question and the number actually providing a response. The number of actual responses to each question is listed in the results along with the percentage of that number choosing each answer category. Because this survey was administered to all known members of the population, its estimates are not subject to sampling error. However, the practical difficulties of conducting any survey may introduce other non-sampling errors. Names and e-mail addresses for the Gateway contacts were obtained from FinCEN. GAO began this survey in July 2007 by e-mailing unique survey ID numbers and passwords; followed up with nonrespondents by e-mail and telephone; and closed the survey in August 2007. While the wording of the questions in this e-supplement is nearly identical to the Web survey questionnaires that we administered, not all introductory or instruction text is reproduced, and for ease of presentation the formats of the actual questionnaires differ from what is represented here. Answers to short-answer text questions are not displayed.

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