Archive for May, 2010

Jyske Bank fined for Money Laundering

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Due to possible conflicts in banking regulations between Gibraltar and Spain, a considerable fine will be paid by Jyske Bank.

According to bank management, Spanish financial authorities have issued Jyske Bank a EUR 1.7 million fine for violating Spanish money laundering regulations.

Activities at a division of Jyske Bank’s in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar are at issue in the case. The Spanish authorities assume that they have been denied access to essential information.

Making the decision to fine the bank, the violations were described as “very serious”; Jyske Bank in Gibraltar was claimed to fail properly report, be unwilling to investigate certain transactions, and have inadequate control procedures.

It is worth noting that this was the 1st time a Danish bank has been fined for violating another country’s money laundering rules.

Jyske Bank has appealed the decision to the Spanish courts.

According to documentation from the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, the case has been underway for some time. Authorities in Denmark were informed about the possible violations in November 2008 for the 1st time. Information on the case was exchanged between Denmark and Spain in March 2009.

Latin American banks threatened by Money Laundering

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

According to Marcelo Di Bello, representative of the Latin American Federation of Banks (Felaban), Latin American banks are being threatened by money laundering.

During the Latin American Congress of Internal Audit and Risk Evaluation (Clain-Felaban 2010) that was held in Panama City on May 12-14, Bello said that drug-trafficking and weapons-trafficking are the illegal businesses seriously threatening financial institutions through money laundering. He also said that corruption and human trafficking are crimes connected with money laundering; however, they do not play the same roles as drug- trafficking and weapons-trafficking.

Bello warned that threats posed by criminal activities could eventually undermine the banks’ operations and reputations, and added that “The financial institutions related to these activities could be led to bankruptcy”.

The Clain-Felaban 2010 is sponsored by the Banking Association of Panama. The event gathers Latin American bankers and finance experts in order to discuss common policies that would improve the development of the regional financial systems.

New Legislation on Anti-Money Laundering signed in Ireland

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

The latest Ireland’s legislation aimed to fight money laundering has come into effect as signed by the President. The Bill was published in July 2009 and progressed quickly through the Oireachtas.

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Bill 2009 transposes the 3rd EU money laundering directive into Irish law. It enforces certain recommendations of the international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing body, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The Act consolidates the existing anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws that previously have been contained mainly in the Criminal Justice Act 1994. Also, the new legislation increases the obligations of individuals and organisations as related to disclosure regarding suspected money laundering and terrorist financing.

According to Ireland’s Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern: “This new law increases the obligations on credit and financial institutions and on lawyers, accountants, estate agents and others with regard to money-laundering and terrorist financing.” He also said that similar legislation will apply throughout the EU.

UAE signs Anti-Money Laundering Agreements

Monday, May 10th, 2010

On May 10, the United Arab Emirates signed new anti-money laundering agreements with 5 Arab countries

According to a UAE Central Bank’s statement, the memoranda of understanding were signed by Mohamed al-Awadi, executive director and head of Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit at the UAE Central Bank, with Morocco, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania and Sudan.

The agreements were signed at a recent meeting of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) that took place in Tunisia. They reveal the commitment of the United Arab Emirates to enhance cooperation with its global and regional partners in order to coordinate the efforts against money laundering, terrorist financing and related crimes.

It should be noted that the country has already finalized such agreements with 36 nations and organizations, which is part of its plan to conclude deals with at least 90 nations on cooperation to fight laundered money. It is also worth mentioning that the UAE is among the first jurisdictions in the region to enact anti-money laundering laws and publicly report such cases.

In 2009, a total of 1 729 suspected money laundering cases were uncovered in the UAE. The UAE Central Bank received more than 11 800 reports on cash declaration.