East West Bancorp to Tighten Anti-Money Laundering Controls
East West Bancorp, Inc. EWBC plans to improve its anti-money laundering controls and keep a closer eye on its high-risk customers under an enforcement agreement by the Federal Reserve.
In recent examinations conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the California Department of Business Oversight Division of Financial Institutions, certain deficiencies pertaining to compliance with the applicable laws, rules and regulations relating to anti-money laundering were identified.
These deficiencies include compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, the rules and regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the anti-money laundering requirements of Regulation H of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
East West Bancorp’s board adopted resolutions authorizing and directing the bank to enter into the agreement and consenting to each and every provision entailed.
Within 60 days of the agreement, the board will submit a written plan to strengthen its oversight of the bank’s compliance with the anti-money laundering requirements. Also, the bank agreed to hire an independent consultant to review high-risk customers.
East West Bancorp maintains a foreign branch in Hong Kong and has various foreign subsidiaries, including representative offices and an international banking subsidiary in Shanghai, China along with various domestic subsidiaries.
As of Sep 30, 2015, East West Bancorp held $31.1 billion in assets and over 130 branches in the U.S. and Greater China. Moreover, it had $982.8 million of loans held in overseas offices, including Hong Kong, and a banking unit in China.
Currently, East West Bancorp carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked western banks are Bank of Commerce Holdings BOCH, BofI Holding, Inc. BOFI and Central Pacific Financial corp. CPF. Each of these stocks holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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