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Hong Kong regulator fines State Bank of India for antimoney laundering failures

[HONG KONG] The Hong Kong central bank has fined State Bank of India's Hong Kong branch HK$7.5 million (S$1.4 million) for breaching the city's antimoney laundering and counter terrorist financing rules, the regulator said on Friday.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said between April 2012 and November 2013 State Bank of India (SBI) Hong Kong failed to perform a series of key antimoney laundering checks, including doing due dilligence on 28 corporate customers, monitoring existing business relationships, and verifying whether its customers were politically exposed persons.

Besides paying the fine, the bank must also submit an independent report to the HKMA outlining the remedial action it will take to tackle these internal control failings.

SBI Hong Kong is one of the first banks to be discplined by the HKMA for AML failures after it stepped up efforts to crackdown on money laundering in recent years following fears raised by international regulators that the city's controls were not strong enough.

State Bank of India could not immediately be reached for comment.

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