PANAMA: Banks sanctioned for money laundering standards
The Superintendency of Banks of Panama has fined Multibank USD300,000 for violating AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism) rules, and USD100,000 for violations of the banking system, while Banvivienda was fined USD90,000 for failing to prevent money laundering and USD40,000 for banking violations.
The state-owned Banco Nacional de Panamá has been fined USD106,750 for money laundering violations and USD21,875 for violating banking regime rules.
The state bank’s General Manager, Rolando de León, explained that “the sanctions were for cases of clients considered as Politically Exposed Persons.”
He went on to add that, “due to these findings, better controls have been implemented, optimizing procedures and ensuring compliance with what is established by the banking regulator.” The other two banks have, reportedly, also tightened their internal controls and regulatory compliance procedures.
The crackdown comes months after a round of fines was issued to nine Panamanian banks. In January, sanctions were imposed on Caja de Ahorros (another stated-owned bank), St. George Bank, Banco Azteca (Panama), Austrobank Overseas (Panama), Banesco, Unibank, Banco Universal, Global Bank and Banco Ficohsa. At the time, the regulator said of the these nine banks: “We must emphasize that behind each of these sanctions there is a genuine effort on the part of the bank sanctioned to adopt the necessary corrective measures and to fully comply with the applicable rules.”
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