New York regulator fines Dubai-based Mashre­qbank over lax money laun­der­ing safe­guards

Gulf Times Business - - BUSINESS -

New York state fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tors on Wed­nes­day fined the Dubai-based Mashre­qbank $40mn, say­ing it cleared mil­lions of high-risk trans­ac­tions with scant safe­guards against money laun­der­ing and ter­ror­ism fi­nance. The bank’s New York branch kept shoddy records and had in­ter­nal con­trols that were not suf­fi­cient to pre­vent vi­o­la­tions of US sanc­tions, ac­cord­ing to the New York Depart­ment of Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices. “Mashre­qbank failed to fully com­ply with crit­i­cal New York and fed­eral bank­ing laws aimed at com­bat­ing in­ter­na­tional money laun­der­ing, ter­ror­ist fi­nanc­ing and other re­lated threats,” DFS Su­per­in­ten­dent Maria Vullo said in a state­ment. Mashre­qbank is the UAE’s oldest len­der, with branches across the Mid­dle East and Asia. Be­tween 2016 and 2017, the bank’s New York branch pro­cessed mil­lions of trans­ac­tions with an ag­gre­gate value of $717bn for for­eign cus­tomers in high-risk ju­ris­dic­tions, the state­ment said. Re­views by DFS and New York Fed­eral Re­serve Bank ex­am­in­ers in 2016 and

2017 found de­fi­cien­cies in bank poli­cies, in­clud­ing fail­ing to show how bank staff de­ter­mined cer­tain trans­ac­tions were ac­cept­able, the state­ment said. Mashre­qbank will hire an out­side con­sul­tant to im­prove how it com­plies with the law, ac­cord­ing to DFS.

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