FinCEN fines P.R.-based Bancredito $15M in landmark AML action

Puerto Rico banking

Puerto Rico-based Bancrédito International Bank and Trust Corporation was assessed a $15 million fine by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for admitted violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regarding suspicious activity monitoring and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.

The penalty marks the first FinCEN action against a Puerto Rican international banking entity (IBE), said the agency in its press release Friday. FinCEN also for the first time enforced a 2021 rule requiring minimum standards for AML programs for banks lacking a federal regulator.

“Bancrédito processed millions of dollars in suspicious transactions through the United States on behalf of high-risk customers, providing correspondent accounts to foreign financial institutions without the required due diligence and reporting required by the BSA,” said FinCEN Director Andrea Gacki in the release. “With today’s action, FinCEN is sending the message that the era of easy money laundering through Puerto Rican IBEs is over.”

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