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HSH Nordbank inks settlement with US regulators over AML compliance

HSH Nordbank's New York branch has entered into a settlement with the US Federal Reserve System and the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) to incorporate necessary measures to deal with its anti-money laundering compliance requirements.

The German lender said that it will be taking steps to address deficiencies relating to the branch’s risk management and comply with applicable federal and state laws including the Bank Secrecy Act, to report suspicious customer activity.

As per the agreement, the bank and the branch will appoint an officer for coordinating and submitting to the Supervisors the written programs, plans, and engagement letters required under the terms of this agreement, within 10 days of this settlement.

Further, the bank’s branch will appoint an independent consultant to carry out a comprehensive review of the branch’s compliance with the BSA/AML requirements and state regulations and prepare a report of findings, conclusions, and recommendations, within 30 days.

The settlement follows regulators’ efforts to improve policies and procedures for illicit money flows. Last week, the regulators asked Citigroup to boost its compliance processes.

New York’s financial services department head Benjamin Lawsky told Reuters, "We will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to strengthen safeguards against money laundering across the financial system."

The bank reportedly claimed that its New York branch complies with the German anti-money laundering rules and regulations, but New York branch failed to meet US laws.