Dutch bank ABN Amro has agreed to pay a series of fines totalling $80m for violating US regulations to prevent money-laundering. The payment represents one of the largest banking fines in US history.
For almost a decade, billions of dollars in transactions, many involving individuals in Russia and other former Soviet Republics, passed through ABN Amro's offices in New York and Dubai, UAE. According to The Wall Street Journal, ABN employees in Dubai actually 'falsified numerous wire-transfer records to hide the identities of Iranian and Libyan companies and individuals'. During this period both Iran and Libya were considered to be states which sponsored terrorism, and companies which operated from US soil were prohibited in dealing with them.
A spokesperson for ABN said that 'we accept the sanctions and express our regret......serious mistakes were made'. The Dutch bank will pay $40m to the US Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, $20m to New York's state regulator and $15m to Illinois. The bank has also agreed to donate $5m to a bank examiners' education fund.