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Posted August 24, 2009 by publisher in OFAC

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Australia and New Zealand Bank Group, Ltd., Settles Allegations of Violations of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations and Cuban Assets Control Regulations:

Australia and New Zealand Bank Group, Ltd., Melbourne, Australia (“ANZ”), remitted $5,750,000 to settle allegations of violations of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 538, and the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 515.

The international trade finance and foreign currency exchange activities at issue in the settlement occurred from 2004 to 2006 and involved ANZ’s processing of transactions through U.S. correspondent accounts.

ANZ actively manipulated the SWIFT messages related to the Sudanese transactions by removing references to Sudan or the names of entities subject to sanctions in the United States, thereby concealing the identities of the targets of U.S. sanctions and impeding the ability of U.S. banks to detect these violations.

The settlement covers 16 transactions in the aggregate amount of approximately $28 million alleged to have violated the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, and 15 transactions in the aggregate amount of $78 million alleged to have violated the Cuban Assets Control Regulations.

OFAC mitigated the total potential penalty based on ANZ’s substantial cooperation, its prompt and thorough remedial response, and the fact that ANZ had not been subject to an OFAC enforcement action in the five years preceding the transactions at issue.

Although ANZ did not voluntarily self-disclose the apparent violations of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, ANZ substantially cooperated with OFAC by conducting an extensive review of transactions.

This review identified additional apparent violations of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations of which OFAC was not aware, as well as apparent violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, which ANZ voluntarily self-disclosed to OFAC.

As part of its remedial response, ANZ re-engineered its current operating model to enhance its ability to identify and resolve operational gaps and weaknesses.

ANZ enhanced key OFAC procedures and policies to establish more effective controls with respect to potential OFAC violations.

As part of its settlement with OFAC, ANZ has agreed to examine and, as necessary, further revise its policies and procedures to ensure, to the best of its ability, that transactions that would be in violation of OFAC’s regulations are not processed by or through United States financial institutions.

ANZ will report findings of its examination to OFAC.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, ANZ’s primary Australian regulator, has agreed to review the results of the examination conducted by ANZ and monitor the resolution of any adverse findings.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on August 24, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Yikes!!! A $5,750,000 fine for $78 million in transactions.

    This is the largest fine that I have ever heard of.

    The company has been asked to comment.



    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on August 24, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Posted with permission of ANZ

    Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ABN 11 005 357 522
    Corporate Communications
    100 Queen Street
    Melbourne Vic 3000
    ANZ.com

    For Release: 25 August 2009

    ANZ reaches settlement over trade finance transactions subject to US economic sanctions

    ANZ today confirmed it had reached agreement with the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) concerning 31 trade finance transactions conducted between 2004 and 2006 involving parties in Sudan and Cuba - countries subject to US economic sanctions.

    After a payment related to a trade finance transaction was blocked in January 2006, ANZ conducted a review of trade finance transactions conducted between 2001 and 2006 and its compliance with US economic sanctions. The additional trade finance transactions identified were disclosed to OFAC and ANZ publicly disclosed the review results in February 2007.

    No breaches of Australian law or Australian or United Nations economic sanctions were involved.

    The agreement with OFAC involves a payment of US$5.75 million (A$6.95 million) by ANZ to settle alleged violations of US economic sanctions and a commitment by ANZ to continue the enhanced program of economic sanction oversight and compliance commenced in 2006.

    ANZ Chief Risk Officer Chris Page said: “ANZ recognises that during the 2004 to 2006 period, the Bank’s compliance with US economic sanctions did not meet the high standards we expect.

    “We’ve worked hard with regulators over the past three and a half years to comprehensively address the issues identified. This has included more robust policies and procedures, and a Group-wide sanctions compliance training program for staff,” Mr Page said.

    Measures taken by ANZ to strengthen compliance with economic sanctions include:

    • Strengthening management and compliance oversight including new approval procedures.
    • Establishing additional full time roles dedicated to sanction compliance.
    • Enhancing sanction compliance awareness training.
    • Undertaking technology investments to upgrade automated sanction filters and screening.

    In October 2007 the US Government amended its International Emergency Economic Powers Enhancement Act significantly increasing penalties for breaches of US economic sanctions.

    The increased penalties applied to the matters ANZ had disclosed to OFAC and that were then pending a decision by OFAC.

    OFAC significantly mitigated ANZ’s total potential penalty based on the Bank’s substantial cooperation, prompt and thorough remedial response, and the fact that ANZ had not been subject to an OFAC enforcement action in the five years preceding the transactions at issue.

    The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has been kept informed of ANZ’s US economic sanction review, its remediation program and the dialogue with US regulators and APRA will continue to review the resolution of final remediation actions.

    For media enquiries contact:
    Paul Edwards
    Group General Manager Corporate Communications
    Tel: +61-3-9273 6955
    Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ABN 11 005 357 522



    Cuba consulting services

  3. Follow up post #3 added on August 25, 2009 by bernie

    By the looks of this Obama & company are not going to do
    a darn thing about improving Cuban/USA relations???
    The only thing the Obama & company are good at is
    double talk????
    Somebody please tell me I live in a democracy???


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