The Comptroller of the Currency has for a long time been the lapdog of the banking industry. They are supposed to be a banking regulator but the head of the OCC (office of the comptroller of currency) is more likely to give banking CEO’s a blowjob than he is to actually hold them accountable for banking violations. And yet – hell hath frozen because the OCC is actually doing its job for the first time in a very long time.
Chase isn’t the only bank potentially doing this. There are already two other major international banks who have been busted for laundering money for blacklisted governments, drug trafficking organizations and terrorist organizations. When banks assist these groups in laundering money (not to mention the very wealthy to avoid paying taxes) they are complicit in these illegal behaviors. They become willing accomplices and that’s a significant thing when you consider how much money the American government (and other governments) spend to combat terrorist organizations, drug traffickers and countries like Iran and North Korea.
And they do it because there is literally hundreds of millions at stake in banking profits. But instead of reaching a deal with these bankers for banking violations … it is time to start sending a message to bankers … we will throw the book at you and you will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. These bankers need to know that jail time is the punishment for such crimes and CEO’s will be held accountable even if we can’t prove they knew about it and shareholders will be held accountable because the punishments will far outweigh the potential for profits.
And to add to this … the Republican party does not believe that we should be investigating these bankers for these types of violations. If the Republican party had its way … there wouldn’t be any probes for these illegal behaviors. For them – less regulation is the best regulation. They would neuter these financial regulators and defund them. They would repeal the Dodd-Frank act which holds these banks accountable. They are the in the pockets of big banks. And the guy they nominated for President … has a long history of using offshore tax havens and tax avoidance schemes that frankly aren’t that different from what these banks are being accused of.
Reuters has the story HERE:
JPMorgan Chase & Co’s compliance with U.S. anti-money laundering laws is being reviewed by a banking regulator, a source said, making the largest U.S. bank the latest target of a wide investigation of how banks prevent transactions involving drug money and sanctioned countries.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an independent branch within the Treasury Department, is examining JPMorgan’s systems that are designed to monitor and filter such transactions, said the source, who is familiar with the situation.
The exact scope of the inquiry and the size of potential liabilities for the bank could not be learned.
JPMorgan spokesman Joseph Evangelisti declined to comment on Saturday.
CNBC also adds that it isn’t just the OCC investigating this but also the Department of Justice and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office HERE:
The comptroller’s office could issue a cease-and-desist order to JPMorgan in coming months, an action that would force the bank to plug any gaps in oversight, according to several people knowledgeable about the matter. But the agency, which oversees the nation’s biggest banks, has not yet completed its case. JPMorgan is in the spotlight partly because federal authorities accused the bank last year of transferring money in violation of United States sanctions against Cuba and Iran.
In addition to the comptroller, prosecutors from the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are investigating several financial institutions in the United States, according to law enforcement officials.
The surge in investigations, compliance experts say, is coming now because authorities were previously inundated with problems stemming from the 2008 financial turmoil. “These issues may have been put on hold during the financial crisis, and now regulators can go back to focus on money-laundering and other compliance problems,” said Alma M. Angotti, a director at Navigant, a consulting firm that advises banks on complying with anti-money-laundering rules.
Recently a very large multinational bank – Standard Chartered laundered hundreds of billions for the Iranian government in violation of American law … we wrote about that HERE. But this doesn’t just affect governments that have been blacklisted like Iran and Cuba … these techniques are used by tax cheats, drug kingpins and intelligence organizations. And now Standard Chartered may get its license revoked to do business in the USA.
HSBC – another large bank – just got busted for money laundering as well. We wrote about that HERE:
Deutsche Welle has the story HERE:
The charges against HSBC were severe. “Global banking giant HSBC and its US affiliate exposed the US financial system to a wide array of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing risks due to poor anti-money laundering (AML) controls,” an official Senate statement began.
The report had five separate charges against HSBC, including servicing high-risk affiliates, circumventing US safeguards, clearing suspicious bulk travellers checks, and offering accounts to so-called bearer share corporations – companies considered to be particularly prone to criminal dealings.
But possibly the Senate’s most damaging charge is that HSBC ignored possible terrorist financing links, particularly in its dealings with banks in Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. One of these, according to the report, was Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank, a known al-Qaeda financier.
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