Taiwan's Mega Bank fined US$29 million by US Federal Reserve for violating anti-money laundering act

All the three branches in New York, Chicago and Silicon Valley were fined

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Mega Bank New York Branch 
Image taken by Google Map

Mega Bank New York Branch Image taken by Google Map

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan's Mega Bank has been fined US$29 million (NT$857 million) for non compliance with the Money Laundering Prevention Act according to statement by the US Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday.

The statement also mentioned that the Federal Board needed the company to improve its oversight and control in terms of money laundering prevention. The statement said the bank must exercise necessary steps to make sure the laws are not overlooked.

All three branches in New York, Illinois and California have been notified of the details regarding the fine, and have been told that the inspection of the branches revealed "significant deficiencies" in its operations, risk management and compliance controls in relation to anti-money laundering and bank secrecy laws.

Central News Agency reported that on the Jan. 17 the U.S. Federal Reserve released an unusual 23-page press release, assigning Mega Bank with a total fine of 29 million U.S. dollars for violating the U.S. anti-money-laundering control acts, and penalized all three branches.

Previously in 2016 Mega Bank was also penalized by the New York state authorities with US$180 million for violations. The offense was related to the bank's indifferent attitude to risks associated with transactions involving Panama, which the US authorities claimed was a "high-risk" target for money laundering.

Investigations during August 2016 said that the bank had a substantial number of customer entities with accounts in several branches of Mega Bank, which were apparently associated and formed with the help of Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm, which at that time, was embroiled in a controversy over a massive leak of offshore financial data.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of Taiwan emphasized that it would continue to supervise the financial institutions under its jurisdiction and its overseas branches in the future to implement the anti-money-laundering and compliance laws. The Commission hopes to improve the business operations of financial institutions and maintain the domestic financial stability.