Pakistan-owned HBZ Bank Sanctioned by South Africa’s Central Bank

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Durban-headquartered HBZ Bank has sanctioned by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for violating the country’s Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations. The SARB scanner detected the bank’s non-compliance with reporting suspicious financial transaction and training requirements of the Financial Intelligence Centre, together with other 5 banks, but it eventually escaped penalties.

The report has it that the five banks are already complying with the recommendations and are implementing necessary measures to correct the deficiencies in their system as noted by the SARB. The penalties which surfaced due to deficiencies in each of the bank’s money laundering control measures include a fine of 30 million rand ($2.1 million) for the standard bank, from which 7.5 million was suspended for three years. Ubank had a fine of a500,000 rand, GroBank Limited, 5 million rands, and Bank of China’s Johannesburg branch 2 million rands. However, GroBank and Bank of China’s fines were also suspended for three years.