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A French bank, Union de Banques Arabes et Françaises has paid the 8.6 million USD for violating of sanctions by operating financial transactions on behalf of sanctioned financial institutions in Syria. This fine has been imposed by the U.S Department of Treasury.
This Paris-based bank is responsible for the finance trade between the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. The bank agreed to settle the penalty due to the violations of the US sanctions against Syria. Violations of UBAF occurred in 2011 and it was followed by an order that expanded the sanctions against Syria. UBAF processes around 127 transactions which total to the amount of $2.08 billion. These are due to the violations of the executive order that expanded the sanctions against Syria.
“The majority of UBAF’s violations occurred in late 2011 following an executive order that significantly expanded U.S. sanctions against Syria, and pertained to the processing of internal transfers on behalf of Syrian entities that were followed by corresponding funds transfers through a U.S. bank.”
The enforcement authority of the sanctions said that these violations are due to the disregard by UBAF of the compliance obligations. They have warned the other institutions to be cautious of the “process U.S. dollar-denominated transactions for entities located in countries that come under comprehensive U.S. sanctions.”
Hopefully other institutions learn from this.
— New Syria (@NEW_SYRIA_963) January 5, 2021
The bank revealed the violations and worked with OFAC and the treasury department considered it to be mitigating. UBAF has taken measures to train the employee in e-learning and they have eliminated any high-risk service.