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Hong Kong fines ICBC, UBS units, others US$5.7 million for anti-money laundering breaches

HONG KONG : Hong Kong's banking regulator has fined four banks, including local units of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and UBS, a combined HKUS$44.2 million (US$5.67 million) for breaches of anti-money laundering rules.

The four banks had failed to carry out appropriate customer due diligence, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said in a statement.

ICBC (Asia) was fined HKUS$20.7 million. UBS HK was fined HKUS$9 million. China Construction Bank (Asia) was fined HKUS$8.5 million. CTBC Bank Hong Kong was fined US$6 million.

"Banks should make reference to these case examples to review data quality and respective transaction monitoring system effectiveness," said Carmen Chu, the HKMA's executive director (Enforcement and AML).

"The identified deficiencies in the four cases occurred in a period ... when industry understanding and experience were less mature, and since then, significant progress has been made by the industry, including the banks concerned."

UBS declined to comment, ICBC Asia, CCB Asia and CTBC could not be immediately reached for comment outside normal business hours.

(US$1 = 7.7922 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Alun John. Editing by Jane Merriman)

Source: Reuters

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