PwC settles with New York bank regulator over anti-money laundering and sanctions advice

By Christine Duhaime | August 18th, 2014

The New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS“) has announced that it has entered into a settlement with the advisory firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers Regulatory Advisory Services (“PwC“) over anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance advice it provided to the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi (“Bank of Tokyo“).

PwC is suspended for two years from accepting consulting work with financial institutions regulated by the NYDFS. Pursuant to the settlement, PwC will make a $25 million payment and undertake a remediation program.

The regulatory involvement stemmed from a look-back assignment undertaken by PwC for the Bank of Tokyo which involved a historical review of wire transfers completed by OFAC listed countries and entities. According to the announcement, the Bank of Tokyo had a policy of falsifying wire transfer information. Under pressure from the Bank of Tokyo, PwC removed information in a report to regulators regarding the wiring practices, including references to business with “enemy countries” in the U.S. Moreover, a partner apparently informed employees that Bank of Tokyo attorneys would get “all twisted up” about OFAC alerts language in a memorandum to the client.

The Settlement Agreement is available here.

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