The Ministry of Finance (MOF) yesterday asked all state-run financial institutions to improve regulatory compliance at their overseas branches by hiring local experts, despite higher costs.
The ministry, the largest shareholder in state-run financial institutions and responsible for the appointments of their chairpersons, made the request after a meeting with the institutions’ top executives yesterday afternoon.
Deputy Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) said the ministry will mete out punishments after it received the results of a cross-ministerial probe into the failure of Mega International Commercial Bank’s (兆豐銀行) New York branch to comply with rules against money laundering.
The New York State Department of Financial Services on Friday announced in a statement that the New York branch of Mega bank agreed to pay a US$180 million fine for violating the US Bank Secrecy Act and money laundering regulations.
The branch failed to notify local regulators of more than 70 transactions in 2012 that involved Panama, a high-risk area for money laundering, the department said in the statement.
After hearing a report by Mega Financial Holding Co (兆豐金控) chairman Shiu Kuang-si (徐光曦), Su attributed the bank’s violation mainly to negligence that could have been avoided if it had a better understanding of New York’s compliance requirements.
Mega bank should have notified the ministry and the Financial Supervisory Commission of the issue as soon as the US authorities first demanded a solution in February, Su said.
“The incident shows the need for local compliance counsel. All state-run financial institutions should make use of local experts at overseas branches to avoid similar negligence,” Su said.
Such an arrangement would entail significant compliance costs.
Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), the main unit of Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控), last year called off plans to set up a branch in the US over concerns of high compliance costs, the conglomerate’s chief financial officer Welch Lin (林維俊) said yesterday.
Mega Financial president Wu Hann-ching (吳漢卿) has offered to step down over the mishap, but the most profitable state-run financial institution has asked Wu to remain in his post until the government probe is completed.
Mega bank rejected media reports that its New York branch was fined for money laundering.
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
‘DOWN TO ZERO 2.0’: All pilots are to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew on long-haul flights have to quarantine for 14 days The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday announced stricter measures to contain a COVID-19 outbreak among China Airlines (華航) flight crew, as the nature of the confirmed cases indicated an unknown chain of transmission within the airline. The “Down to Zero 2.0” plan will be tough on China Airlines personnel, but is necessary to minimize the risk to society, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Under the measures, all China Airlines pilots and copilots are to be recalled to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew who are returning from long-haul flights or who have
TAKING NOTICE: In the first time that G7 foreign ministers have mentioned Taiwan in a joint communique, they called for ‘peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait’ The Presidential Office yesterday thanked the G7 foreign ministers for their strong support of Taiwan after the group in its joint statement on Wednesday called for the nation’s participation in the WHO, and the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The ministers in a communique issued at the end of their three-day meeting declared support for “Taiwan’s meaningful participation” in WHO forums and the World Health Assembly (WHA). “The international community should be able to benefit from the experience of all partners, including Taiwan’s successful contribution to the tackling of the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said. The statement included a section