NCB has advised that on February 5, 2007 six (6) summonses were served on the Bank for failure to report six (6) threshold transactions under the Money Laundering Act. The Act requires banks to report to the local Financial Investigations Division of the Ministry of Finance & Planning, all cash transactions equal to and above US$50,000 or the equivalent in any currency (known as “threshold transactions”).
These six (6) transactions occurred in 2003 over a period of eight (8) months on a personal account at one of their branches. When these transactions were discovered later that year, the Bank took immediate steps to institute its disciplinary process for the employees involved and to file the requisite reports based on information available at the time. Sanctions were imposed arising from this process.
The matter is now before the courts and will come up for mention again on February 23rd, 2007. The maximum fine under the law is Four Hundred Thousand Jamaica Dollars (JA$400,000.00) per transaction. The Bank has engaged lawyers to act on or behalf.
“National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited takes very seriously its regulatory obligations to assist in the fight against money laundering, fraud and other illegal activity. We have been consistently increasing the level of compliance and have heightened awareness through ongoing employee training, review of operating systems and procedures to ensure that we are reporting in accordance with the law.
A Group Compliance Unit was also established in 2004 with central oversight for this aspect of our operations. All our units have persons responsible for compliances and periodically employees undergo refresher Anti-Money Laundering training.”
“The Board and Management are committed to doing their part to protect the financial system and to increase the understanding amongst all our stakeholders that whether through inadvertence or negligence, failure to adhere to this Law puts us at risk.”