UAE Regulator to investigate Pakistan bank for Money Laundering

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Pakistan’s largest bank, Habib Bank Ltd has been subject to investigation by the UAE regulator, a Paris Unit of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for inadequacies in complying with the global regulations on money laundering and terrorism financing. The FATF is set to decide if Pakistan will be added to the list of countries not compliant with global regulations by this week. The Central Bank of UAE has been working with Pakistan’s banking regulators to verify irregularities of the UAE based Pakistan Bank. The UAE regulators had said that necessary actions will be taken once investigations into the situation are completed.

It was noted that Bloomberg reported last week of the observed deficiencies in the Habib Bank Ltd systems that was found by the Pakistan’s regulators in 2018. The bank admitted to the irregularities identified in 2017, however, it claimed that it has adjusted its control and compliance system to stay in line with the international standard. The New York State Department of Financial Services was also seeking to fine HBL $630 million in 2017 for deficiency in compliance with the anti-money laundering rules but later settled the action with $225 million. The bank said on Monday that it will embark on a voluntary closure of its U.S operations on or before March 31 in adherence to the New York regulator.