Premier designates task force on Mega Bank probe

  • Date: 2016-08-30
  • Source: Office of Information Services, Executive Yuan
<p>20160830 Premier designates task force on Mega Bank probe</p>

The  Executive  Yuan  will  form  a  supervisory  task  force  to  investigate  violations  of  U.S.  anti-money  laundering  laws  by  Mega  International  Commercial  Bank’s  New  York  branch,  Premier  Lin  Chuan  announced  today.

Demanding  a  swift  and  thorough  probe,  the  premier  said  that  all  persons  responsible  for  the  violations  will  be  held  accountable  and  promised  no  limit  to  how  high  the  investigation  will  reach.  Although  the  branch  was  fined  for  failure  to  report  suspicious  accounts,  no  money  laundering  activities  have  been  detected  so  far,  he  added.

The  task  force,  headed  by  Vice  Premier  Lin  Hsi-yao,  will  facilitate  and  oversee  probes  by  the  Financial  Supervisory  Commission  (FSC)  and  the  Ministry  of  Justice  (MOJ).  Financial  and  legal  experts  have  also  been  invited  to  join  the  task  force,  which  is  expected  to  meet  Wednesday  to  provide  assistance  in  ongoing  investigation  efforts.

The  MOJ  is  looking  into  the  branch’s  failure  to  declare  suspicious  transactions  while  the  FSC  has  been  conducting  administrative  investigations.  The  commission  has  so  far  interviewed  28  bank  executives  to  determine  who  was  involved  and  what  transpired  in  the  breach.  Premier  Lin  directed  the  commission  to  release  its  final  findings  quickly  and  hold  those  persons  accountable.

As  to  suspicions  of  money  laundering  and  shell  company  activities,  the  premier  instructed  the  FSC  to  look  further  into  Mega  Bank’s  financial  controls  and  business  operations.  It  may  take  two  to  three  weeks  to  ascertain  where  the  responsibilities  lie  and  decide  on  appropriate  penalties.

Much  has  been  learned  from  the  Mega  Bank  case,  Premier  Lin  said.  In  the  future,  the  government  will  do  more  to  reform  money  laundering  controls  and  strengthen  compliance  and  internal  control  measures.  Banks  should  also  increase  their  compliance  staff  and  make  related  systems  more  independent,  while  boards  of  directors  should  intensify  monitoring  of  internal  controls.  The  FSC  is  in  the  process  of  discussing  related  reforms  and  will  propose  concrete  measures  soon.