Posts Tagged ‘STR’

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TCF goofs on golden gopher terror transactions

January 31, 2013
http://oncampus.mpr.org/2010/07/gopher-tix-not-so-hot-with-students/olympus-digital-camera/

TCF Bank Stadium at Univ. of Minn.

Iranian students at the University of Minnesota engaging in possible terrorist financing activities have been allowed to maintain accounts with TCF Financial Corp. until now, as lapses in the bank’s compliance program have come to light during a federal probe.

Several of accounts will be closed despite “concerns that innocent people were being profiled.”  It is unclear why individual account holders should be concerned or who is raising the concerns, since the bank (not depositors) is the party receiving the penalty.

TCF will pay a $10 million fine as part of a consent order with the federal government for its compliance shortcomings, which included filing slipshod suspicious transaction reports (STRs) of “poor quality.”

Hat tip to Sal Imburgia for sending this in.  From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

TCF to pay $10 million for lapses in monitoring suspicious transactions

By Jennifer Bjorhus

Jan. 26–TCF Financial Corp. will pay $10 million for lapses in monitoring suspicious bank transactions, including potential terrorist financing.

The fine, announced Friday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, caps a long-running probe of the Wayzata bank’s compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act. TCF mishandled mandatory reports regarding questionable dealings, a key tool for law enforcement to prevent money laundering and other illegal activity, federal officials said.

At issue were cash transactions that appeared to be manipulated, and wire transfers where the source and purpose of the funds were unknown, the OCC said.

The Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to make sure illegal money doesn’t flow through their organization, and regulators have stepped up enforcement in the past few years.

Last month, British banking giant HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion to settle an investigation focused on laundering money from drug traffickers in Mexico and conducting transactions with sanctioned countries, such as Iran and Cuba. More recently, the Federal Reserve hit JPMorgan Chase & Co. with a cease-and-desist order requiring it to beef up compliance.

As for TCF — the third-largest bank in Minnesota with $19 billion in assets — regulators said the lender botched its required reports.

Between November 2008 and July 2010, TCF was late filing 2,357 reports of suspicious transactions, according to the consent order from the OCC. The filing goes on to say that in 13 cases, involving about $7.2 million, the bank failed to properly file reports “related to transactions indicative of possible terrorist financing.”

The reports to law enforcement were of “poor quality,” it said. In some cases the bank didn’t check the “terrorist financing” box on reports when the narrative section referenced possible terrorist activity, and in other cases the narrative didn’t make clear what sort of suspicious activity had taken place.

In addition to paying the fine, TCF agreed to refile the 13 reports and do employee training, according to the consent order.

TCF issued a statement Friday saying it overhauled its program for complying with the Bank Secrecy Act. It called the settlement a “significant step” toward resolving the consent order that regulators issued against the bank in 2010.

Banks simply haven’t taken suspicious activity reports seriously enough, and the tougher enforcement is overdue, said bank analyst Nancy Bush, a contributing editor of SNL Financial in Charlottesville, Va.

“Banks have every way in the world to track this stuff,” Bush said. “They certainly know what comes in and what goes out of their banks on a daily basis.”

Bush said she thought TCF’s $10 million fine was relatively small: “It seems to be more symbolic than anything else.”

TCF CEO William Cooper was traveling late Friday and couldn’t be reached for comment. In an interview, spokesman Jason Korstange said the bank did a “very, very thorough examination of all our accounts.”

“Ultimately we did not find any terrorist activities,” Korstange said.

The settlement sheds some light on the mysterious letters the bank sent last month to about a dozen students at the University of Minnesota who are from Iran. The letters, in which TCF warned it might close their accounts, triggered concerns that innocent people were being profiled.

Korstange said the bank is still working through that matter. TCF has an exclusive agreement with the university to offer checking accounts linked to school photo ID cards.

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Sharia law allows stock trades—jihadists rejoice

December 18, 2011

Investing in the stock market is considered halal by most Muslims because the stockholder theoretically owns a portion of the company, and the dividends or increase in stock price are genuine “profits,” not riba.

Stock market activity is probably even more acceptable when conducted to benefit jihad, because those who strive with their wealth for jihad are rewarded doubly by Allah according to the Hadith.

So the terrorists are at liberty to put their money into the stock market, as they have been doing in India.  From the Press Trust of India on Dec. 16:

10 cases of terror funding via stock market in last 3 yrs

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Finance Ministry has received information on 10 suspected instances of terrorist financing using the stock exchanges in the last three financial years, Parliament was informed today.

The FIU received five Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) during the 2009-10 financial year, four during 2010-11 and a single case in the current fiscal (up to November), Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The STRs, “suspected to be linked to terrorist financing, (have been) received from intermediaries of stock market such as stockbrokers, asset management companies, etc, and disseminated to intelligence agencies by the FIU,” Meena said.

He also said the STRs have been linked to money laundering. These cases will be investigated by the intelligence agencies, he said.

The FIU, is the national agency responsible for receiving, analysing and disseminating information related to suspect financial transactions.

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In India, “terror fund flow may have increased”

February 25, 2010

An increase in suspicious financial transaction reports (STRs) filed by Indian banks to financial authorities in that country suggests that terrorist financial activities may also be on the rise, according to an article from Daily News & Analysis on Feb. 16.  However, as the story notes, the uptick in numbers may simply be the result of improved detection software at the banks.  From DNA:

After the terror attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, the government had indicated its intent to crack down on all activities linked to terror. It was, therefore, expected that the sources and channels of terror funding would be squeezed soon.

However, in 2009, the year following the carnage, there was a two-fold jump in suspicious transactions across the country. Most of these transactions are believed to be aimed at bankrolling terror activities.

The financial intelligence unit (FIU) of the department of revenue of the Union finance ministry has revealed that as many as 4,409 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) were received by the unit in 2009.

According to the report prepared by the unit, a copy of which is with DNA, the numbers were a staggering six times more than those in 2007 and more than double compared to 2008. The number of STRs for these years was 817 and 1,916 respectively.

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