As financial institutions draft new compliance programs in response to the USA PATRIOT Act, many are having to grapple for the first time with establishing internal procedures to file suspicious activity reports with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, an agency in the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

President Bush signed the USA PATRIOT Act into law on Oct. 26, 2001. Title III of this law is of particular concern to banks and other financial institutions as it deals with anti-money laundering and requires new areas of compliance beyond the Bank Secrecy Act requirements already in place.