May 16, 2018
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has fined Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services LLC (ICBCFS) $5.3 million for systemic anti-money laundering (AML) compliance failures, including its failure to have a reasonable AML program in place to monitor and detect suspicious transactions, as well as other violations, including financial, recordkeeping, and operational violations.
In late 2012, ICBCFS began clearing and settling equity transactions. Within a few months of launching its new business line, ICBCFS took on thousands of new customers, many of whom began purchasing and selling millions of dollars’ worth of penny stocks. From January 2013 through September 2015, ICBCFS cleared and settled the liquidation of more than 33 billion shares of penny stocks, which generated approximately $210 million for ICBCFS’s customers.