On March 2nd, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN") issued an Advisory reminding financial institutions, and in particular, the lawyers that advise them, of the requirement to maintain the confidentiality of Suspicious Activity Reports ("SARs"). FinCEN is concerned that an increasing number of private parties, who are not authorized to know of the existence of filed SARs, are seeking SARs from financial institutions for use in civil litigation and other matters. Financial institutions, and their current and former directors, officers, employees, agents, and contractors, are prohibited from disclosing SARs, or any information that would reveal the existence of a SAR. Financial institutions, and their current and former directors, officers, employees, agents, and contractors could be subject to civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of a SAR.