The US Justice Department has reached a $613 million settlement with US Bancorp over charges that it wilfully failed to have an adequate anti-money-laundering programme.
Under the settlement, the bank has agreed to forfeit $453 million and pay fines to the Treasury Department, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.
According to the Justice Department, the bank’s subsidiary, US Bank National Association, deliberately ran an inadequate anti-money-laundering programme from 2009 to 2014. US Bancorp failed to detect large numbers of suspicious transactions and concealed the problem from regulators.
Under the settlement, the Justice Department has agreed to dismiss the charges against the Minneapolis-based bank in two years if it meets the terms of the agreement. The bank said it has overhauled its anti-money-laundering policies in recent years to address the issues.
Aziz Rahman, founder of Rahman Ravelli, said: “While the bank appears to have negotiated a settlement that avoids any criminal sanction, the cost of its failings is still high. US Bancorp was aware it was not tackling the problem of money laundering. It has now realised that such a failure comes at a high price – much higher than the price of proper prevention procedures.
“At a time when money laundering is higher up the authorities’ agenda than it ever has been, it almost defies belief that a bank would have such poor procedures in place – and would then try to hide the fact from investigators.’’
Read our article: MAKING SURE YOU DO ENOUGH TO PREVENT MONEY LAUNDERING