US Bank to pay Dollars 613 million over money laundering violations

US Bancorp to Pay About $600 Million Over Money Laundering

The parent company of US Bank, the fifth-largest lender in the United States, also admitted the bank processed billions of dollars in questionable transactions for disgraced payday lender and former race auto driver Scott Tucker, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in January.

This undated image on U.S. Bancorp's website shows a branch of U.S. Bank, a subsidiary.

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday ordered Minneapolis-based US Bancorp to improve risk management and oversight of its banking subsidiaries' compliance with USA economic sanctions, and Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering requirements. The Minneapolis-based bank based the number of alerts on low staffing levels, rather than on the level of risk in the transactions.

In a 2009 memo, the bank's chief compliance officer complained that the staffers assigned to monitor suspicious transactions were "stretched dangerously thin".

"US Bank's own anti-money laundering staff warned against the risk of this alerts-capping strategy, but these warnings were ignored by management", FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco said in a statement.

"We regret and have accepted responsibility for the past deficiencies in our AML (anti-money-laundering) program".

Authorities also charged that the bank willfully failed to report suspicious banking activities of a longtime customer, Scott Tucker, from 2011 to 2013.

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Tucker's business "maintained certain deposit accounts with U.S. Bank National Association", the company reported.

"Our culture of ethics and integrity demands that we do better", said Cecere, who added, "we are confident in the strength of the (anti-money laundering) program we have in place today".

A scathing news release from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney says U.S. Bank operated its anti-money laundering program "on the cheap".

The Justice Department statement said the bank overlooked several red flags from Tucker's business, including using accounts bearing the names of tribes for his personal expenses, such as a vacation home and a Ferrari racing team.

In 2015, US Bancorp signed a consent agreement with the federal government that concluded that the bank lacked an adequate "system of internal controls, ineffective independent testing, and inadequate training" regarding money laundering and "failed to file all necessary Suspicious Activity Reports. related to suspicious customer activity".

That agreement is subject to approval by a federal court judge in NY.

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