NEW YORK (Web Desk) – The only US branch of Pakistan’s largest bank Habib Bank Limited (HBL) has been slapped a strict enforcement order by United States Federal Reserve after significant breakdowns were identified in the Branch’s anti-money-laundering program which was found to be not in compliance with US federal laws.
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According to the Wall Street Journal, following the enforcement order Habib Bank has been stopped from opening new dollar-clearing accounts, which are one of the US services to send and receive dollars from abroad, or even correspondent accounts with foreign banks.
Under the 14-page order which was issued after a thorough examination by the New York State Department of Financial Services and Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the bank has also been restricted from increasing the amount of dollar-clearing transaction from the branch til the issue is resolved.
The branch will require a special permission from NYSDFD for increasing the number of dollar-clearing transactions.
Extending his hope that problem will be fixed as soon as possible Manochere Alamgir, who is currently functioning as General Manager in HBL New York Branch, said that they have hired a new compliance staff and a third-party consultant to resolve the matter as per asked by the Federal Reserve authorities.
HBL takes any instructions from regulators very seriously and we intend that everything will be fixed according to rules, he added.
The report also suggested that action was taken against HBL after it failed to fix the issues despite initial warning of the Federal Reserve and New York State Department officials.