U.S. banks file more than 15 million currency-transaction reports each year, spurred by movements of $10,000 or more into or out of an account, according to FinCEN. Financial institutions — including banks, brokerages, money-transfer businesses and casinos — also file more than 1.5 million suspicious-activity reports annually.
“The data we collect is publicly known,” FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery said in an interview. “It’s not raw data. It’s suspicious, large-cash transactions that meet a threshold.”
The guidelines seek to balance privacy and the prevention of national-security threats, she said. “We think we’ve gotten that balance right, although it is something we must always be ready to re-examine.”