The U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday that it reached a $613 million settlement with U.S. Bancorp. The bank was charged with willfully failing to have an adequate anti-money-laundering program.
According to the statement released by the Justice Department, U.S. Bancorp agreed to forfeit $453 million as part of the settlement. It will also pay fines to the Treasury Department, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Reserve.
Additionally, it said that the bank deliberately ran an inadequate anti-money-laundering program from 2009 to 2014 through its subsidiary U.S. Bank National Association. There were large numbers of suspicious transactions that the bank failed to detect, the Justice Department said. It also hid missteps from regulators, it added.
“We regret and have accepted responsibility for the past deficiencies in our AML (anti-money-laundering) program. Our culture of ethics and integrity demands that we do better,” said U.S. Bancorp President and CEO Andy Cecere.
The Justice Department also agreed to dismiss the charges against the bank if it meets the terms of the agreement within two years. The Minneapolis-based bank said that it overhauled its anti-money-laundering policies in recent years to address the issues.
The bank was able to limit the number of transactions that its system will flag as suspicious based on its staffing level, according to the Justice Department. A 2009 memo from the bank’s anti-money-laundering officer warned that staff was “stretched dangerously thin.”
The Justice Department also claimed that the bank processed Western Union transactions for non-customers. The transactions were then left unmonitored. U.S. Bancorp barred the wire transfers in 2014.
HNA Group Trims Stake in Deutsche Bank
Chinese Conglomerate HNA Group decided to cut its stake in Deutsche Bank to around 8.8 percent. Despite this, it still plans to remain a “significant” investor in the German lender.
“A further reduction of our holding is not planned. HNA will still continue to be a significant investor in Deutsche Bank,” a spokesman for asset manager C-Quadrat stated.
HNA sold part of its stake in the bank which amounts to almost 300 million euros ($375 million) as it offloads investments to address a liquidity crunch.
The reduction also resulted to its stake falling from nearly 10 percent to around 8.8 percent. This means that HNA is no longer on par with the Qatari royal family, Deutsche’s biggest shareholder.
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