Jersey: Reach for the SARs

Last Updated: 12 September 2017
Article by William Redgrave

The JFSC has been focusing heavily on Suspicious Activity Reports ("SARs") recently. This is understandable. SARs are a crucial part of the regulatory framework. If regulated businesses are properly reporting suspicions of criminal conduct then the law enforcement agencies receive vital ammunition for cleaning up the finance industry and investigating crime without lifting a finger. The regulator can step back and leave reporting to businesses, as long as they can be trusted to make SARs when they should.

The Head of Enforcement at the JFSC, Barry Faudemer, has this to say on the topic:

"The JFSC is afforded access to SARs and they are crucial in protecting investors from suffering financial losses and safeguarding the integrity of our finance industry. They form a critical part of what is often a complex jigsaw puzzle of information and timely reporting is key. Our Supervisors will be keen to ensure that SARs are submitted to JFCU as soon as is reasonably practicable. The reason for any delay should be clearly documented.

JFSC staff have seen for themselves how SAR intelligence makes a huge difference and enables the regulator to prevent financial crime working closely with the Joint Financial Crimes Unit. Very often the person submitting the SAR may not appreciate the key role they are playing in contributing to piecing together the jigsaw puzzle. I can only say that in some cases if we had not received a particular SAR we might not have been able to have protected some very vulnerable members of our society."

SARs are something the JFSC can measure. It knows how many SARs each business makes. It takes a keen interest in how many internal SARs are externalised, and how quickly internal SARs are evaluated by the MLRO.

Though there are no specific targets in the AML Handbook, the JFSC will look at the ratio of internal SARs being externalised, and the time taken to evaluate internal SARs. MLRO's can expect to be asked to explain any time delays in the evaluation process and any decision not to submit an internal SAR to JFCU. A high percentage of internal SARs that are not submitted to JFCU may be indicative of a dysfunctional AML function within a business.

Some businesses appear to be working towards a target of 75% of internal SARs externalised, or 30 days to evaluate an internal SAR. However these are not targets approved by the JFSC, and meeting these measures may well not in itself be sufficient to demonstrate full compliance. What is adequate to comply with the regulatory requirements will of course vary from business to business and case to case. Barry Faudemer, who is also the JFSC's MLRO, comments "In some cases a SAR should be submitted immediately for example to prevent financial loss or assist the authorities with a terrorism investigation. I usually process internal SARs submitted to me by JFSC staff and place them in the hands of JFCU within 48 hours. Setting any benchmark for the volume of SARs externalised is dependent on many factors including the type and scale of business together with the risk appetite of the firm."

The requirement as to timing is to make a SAR as soon as is reasonably practicable. Some SARs are so obviously reportable and urgent that they should be externalised immediately, and in such cases waiting without good reason would constitute a breach for failing to report in good time.

However taking several weeks may be a reasonable timeframe in more complex cases, giving time to investigate the case, and some cases may reasonably take even longer to investigate properly. It is important to avoid falling into the trap of waiting to secure firm evidence of money laundering before submitting a SAR. Only a suspicion of money laundering is required to activate the requirement to submit a SAR.

Monitoring the percentage of SARs externalised can only be a rough guide to the general effectiveness of the SAR procedures in a business. If staff are very cautious then many internal SARs may be made which the MLRO properly decides not to externalise. If staff have poor AML awareness or the culture is hostile to reporting, so only a few internal SARs are made, but each one plainly needs externalising, there is still a problem. Plainly a lot depends on the quality of the training and culture in the business, and the competency of the MLROs and their decision making.

As for measuring SAR reporting, how many SARs should each business be making? Will the JFSC consider a business to be higher risk if it is making "too many" SARs (indicating that it must have too much risky business), or if it is making "too few" SARs (indicating that its staff must be failing to report suspicions adequately)? We can expect the JFSC to apply a risk based approach to this. I posed these questions to Barry Faudemer, and his response was this: "I cannot recall a case in recent times where a business has submitted too many SARs and caused alarm to the JFSC. Enforcement have however received referrals and conducted investigations into instances where a business has failed to file a SAR with JFCU. This usually leads to the identification of wider AML weaknesses within a business requiring enforcement action to remedy the shortfall".

The important thing is ensure that your SAR reporting system is working properly. If the staff know when to report something, they are encouraged to do so, and the MLRO competently and promptly evaluates it, and externalises where appropriate without obstruction from the business, then the system is working. Simply saying you have the procedures will not be enough. Expect the JFSC to require clear proof that your SAR procedures are effective.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.