The US government has named
FBME, formerly known as the
The action reflected FinCEN's continuing commitment to take strong action against financial institutions willing to facilitate the laundering of funds for weapons proliferators, terrorists, and transnational organized criminals, an official statement said.
"FBME promotes itself on the basis of its weak Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls in order to attract illicit finance business from the darkest corners of the criminal underworld." FinCEN Director
Calvery said FBME's business plan "has been far too successful" but naming it as a foreign financial institution of primary money laundering concern will effectively shut the lender off from US financial system.
It "is a necessary step to disrupt the bank's efforts and send the message that
FBME's business model is based on its weak AML controls, FinCEN said.
The lender changed its country of incorporation numerous times, partly due to its inability to adhere to regulatory requirements.
"It has established itself with a nominal headquarters in
FBME openly advertises the bank to its potential customer base as willing to facilitate the evasion of AML regulations.
The US authorities said FBME solicits and is widely recognized by its high-risk customers for ease of use.
"These facts, taken in concert with FBME's extensive efforts over the years to evade regulatory oversight, illustrate FBME's willingness to service the global criminal element."
FinCEN has delivered to the
The NPRM also proposes to require covered financial institutions to apply special due diligence to their correspondent accounts maintained on behalf of foreign banks to guard against processing any transactions involving FBME.
These measures are subject to a 60-day comment period, beginning the day the NPRM is published in the
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