Thursday, February 25, 2021

UBS AG Miami branch hit with regulatory order for AML/BSA violation

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Federal banking regulators have cited UBS AG branches in Miami; New York; and Stamford, Connecticut, for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering regulators.

The consent order, from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, was issued on May 30 and made public July 20. It concerns the wealth management offices that Switzerland-based UBS has in the U.S. Its Miami location is called UBS AG Wealth Management Americas Private Bank Branch. The order also applied to the federal banking offices of UBS AG in the U.S.

UBS did not contest the order, which found that its branches had deficiencies in Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering compliance, including for not properly filing suspicious activity reports (SARs) with authorities when detecting questionable activity.

UBS spokesman Peter Stack said the bank is working to fully comply with the order’s requirements.

The OCC order called the deficiencies in the anti-money laundering compliance at the UBS branches “critical,” and gaps in compliance caused the branches to not file SARs in a timely manor.

Problems at the UBS branches cited by the OCC included a weak BSA officer/staffing function, not retaining names and addresses used in fund transfers, and not conducting adequate due diligence on foreign financial institutions.

The OCC told UBS to submit a plan to comply with BSA and anti-money laundering regulations within 60 days.

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