How to Write Effective SAR Narratives

Total Seats: 500

Date and Time:

June 20, 2024 10:00 AM PDT - 11:30 AM PDT

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According to the FFIEC Exam Manual: “Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) forms the cornerstone of the BSA reporting system.”

“It is critical to U.S’s ability to utilize financial information to combat terrorism, terrorist financing, money laundering & other financial crimes.” A thorough and complete narrative makes the difference in determining whether the described conduct and its possible criminal nature are clearly understood by law enforcement.

One of the most misunderstood areas of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) is when and why you should file a SAR. Having the proper narrative will answer both of those concerns. By fitting the pieces together you can have a complete SAR narrative.

This 90-minute webinar will be a comprehensive course on how to prepare strong SAR narratives. It will break the report down by the introduction, the body, and the conclusion with examples. There are several key steps and reminders for doing it right every time and this session will cover all of it.


  • Thresholds for filing SARs
  • The 4 C’s: Clear, Concise, Chronological and Complete
  • The 5 W’s: Who, What, When, Where and Why
  • How did the activity occur?
  • How do you fit the pieces together and tell the complete story?
  • Step-by-step process for writing the narrative
  • Common rookie mistakes to avoid
  • Tips from a law enforcement perspective
  • Real-life case studies and examples


The narrative portion of a SAR is critical to understanding the nature and circumstances of the suspicious activity. The care with which a narrative is completed can determine if the described activity and its possible criminal nature are clearly understood by investigators. Hence, the staff responsible for reporting suspicious activity must provide a clear, complete, and concise description, including what was unusual or irregular that caused suspicion.

This session will explain what information should be included in the narrative, the level of information needed, and how the information should be structured and presented.


  • Financial Officers
  • Bank Secrecy Act Officers
  • Front Line Staff
  • Risk Officers
  • Compliance Officers
  • Branch Operations Managers
  • Deposit Operations


Doug Keipper, MBA, CAMS, CACTS

  • Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) since 2005
  • Former Vice President and Bank Secrecy Act Officer for a billion-dollar bank
  • Former Special Teams Senior BSA/AML Investigator at a $220 billion bank.
  • Sold BSA software for eight years
  • Teaching anti-money laundering classes since 2008
  • Has talked with over 500 BSA officers throughout the USA and Caribbean
  • Spent over 20 years in retail banking, wholesale mortgages, and financial services

Refund policy:

Attendees may cancel up to two working days prior to the course start date and the refund will be processed within two working days.

We will process/provide a refund if the webinar is canceled. Refunds will not be given to participants who do not show up for the webinar. On-demand Recordings can be requested in exchange. Webinar may be canceled due to lack of enrolment or unavoidable factors. Attendees will be notified 24 hours in advance if a cancellation occurs. Substitutions can happen at any time.

If you have any concerns about the content of the webinar and are not satisfied please contact us at

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Ticket type: Ticket Qty: Per Ticket Price:
One dial-in, one attendee
One dial-in, one attendee + Recording
Group - up to 5 attendees
Group - up to 10 attendees
Quantity: Total