The software needed to file new suspicious-transaction reports should arrive by the end of the month, according to a Federal Reserve Board official.

Richard Small, special counsel in the Fed's division of bank supervision and a key figure in crafting the new rules, said banks would have the product in a few weeks.

There was still some "tweaking" being done to the software, which will be available for Macintosh and IBM-compatible computers. Still, Mr. Small said banks should receive it well before the new reporting rules take effect, on April 1.

Meanwhile, John J. Byrne, senior federal legislative counsel at the American Bankers Association, said his group is planning half-day sessions to explain the new rules.

Mr. Byrne said the sessions were planned April 2 in Chicago, April 9 in Philadelphia, and April 11 in Atlanta. Specific scheduling details were still being worked out, he added.

The new rules allow bankers to report questionable transactions to the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network rather than to many different agencies, as is currently required. The reports replace the Criminal Referral Form and a box on the Currency Transaction Report that banks have been checking and backing up with documentation explaining the activity in question.

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