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Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Training teaches employees how to identify and report suspicious activity in the workplace.

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Creating an Effective Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Training Program: Everything you Need to Know

If your company operates in a field that deals with financial transactions, you've probably heard of Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Training. This type of training is essential for employees who handle financial transactions and other sensitive business information. In this post, we'll explore the basics of SAR Training, the industries that require it, and how to properly hire and deliver effective training.

What is Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Training?

SAR Training is a type of compliance training that teaches employees how to recognize and report suspicious financial activity. It's designed to help prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. The training covers topics such as identifying suspicious activity, legal requirements for reporting, and the consequences of failing to report.

Industries that require SAR Training

Any industry that deals with financial transactions is required to have their employees complete SAR Training. This includes banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and other financial institutions. In addition, any business that deals with large sums of money or high-value assets, such as jewelry stores or art galleries, may also require SAR Training.

Training roles that are most relevant to SAR Training

Employees who handle financial transactions and other sensitive business information are the ones who need SAR Training the most. This includes tellers, loan officers, financial advisors, and compliance officers. In addition, executives and managers should also receive SAR Training to ensure they understand the importance of reporting suspicious activity and to support their teams in doing so.

How to hire for SAR Training roles

When hiring for roles that require SAR Training, look for candidates with a strong understanding of financial regulations and compliance. They should be detail-oriented and able to identify potential red flags. In addition, they should be comfortable with reporting suspicious activity and communicating with law enforcement if necessary. Consider using assessments and interview questions specifically designed to evaluate a candidate's knowledge and skills related to SAR Training.

How to build and deliver effective SAR Training

Effective SAR Training should be designed to meet your organization's specific needs and should cover all legal requirements for reporting. It should include case studies and real-world examples to help employees better understand what constitutes suspicious activity. The training should be interactive, engaging, and include assessments to ensure employees have a solid understanding of the material. Consider using a mix of online and in-person training to ensure employees can access the training in a way that works best for them.

Why companies must do SAR Training effectively

Failure to provide effective SAR Training can result in serious consequences for a company. In addition to the potential for financial crimes to occur, companies can face fines, legal action, and damage to their reputation. In 2012, HSBC was fined $1.9 billion for failing to prevent money laundering, and JPMorgan Chase was fined $2.6 billion in 2014 for similar reasons. These cases demonstrate the importance of providing effective SAR Training and taking the issue seriously.

What happens when SAR Training is not done effectively

When SAR Training is not done effectively, employees may not be able to recognize suspicious activity and may fail to report it. This can lead to financial crimes going undetected, which can result in significant financial losses for a company. In addition, failure to report suspicious activity can result in legal action and fines for the company.


SAR Training is essential for any business that deals with financial transactions or other sensitive business information. It's important to hire employees who understand the importance of reporting suspicious activity and provide them with effective training. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences for your company. If you're looking to hire for SAR Training roles or develop effective training, contact Learnexus to connect with top-rated Learning & Development freelancers.


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