Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Federal Reserve Board Fines ABN AMRO Bank

Elisabeth Goodridge, The Associated Press:
The Federal Reserve Board ordered ABN AMRO Bank NV to pay roughly 80 million dollars in fines Monday for conducting financial transactions with Iran and Libya that violated U.S. money-laundering laws.

The board directed the Dutch bank to pay $40 million to the Fed and U.S. Treasury; $20 million to the New York State Banking Department; and $15 million to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. READ MORE

ABN AMRO volunteered to give $5 million to the Illinois Bank Examiners' Education Foundation.

The financial services company, headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, acknowledged to federal regulators last year that employees of its Dubai, United Arab Emirates, office processed wire transfers between 1997 and 2004 on behalf of Iranian and Libyan clients.

Wire transfers involving Iranian and Libyan nationals were prohibited during that period by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, a division of the U.S. Treasury.

In a statement, ABN AMRO Board Chairman Rijkman Groenink said he accepted the sanctions and that the company has taken significant steps to improve compliance control and risk management.

"As a global financial organization, nothing short of the highest standards of compliance is acceptable. We regrettably recognize that, in the past, our compliance in certain areas did not meet this standard," he said. "Further improving our compliance is the highest priority of the bank."