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.