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Release Date: May 18, 1998

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve Board announced today the issuance of enforcement actions against five foreign banking organizations with banking offices in the United States to address serious deficiencies in their anti-money laundering programs.

Temporary Cease and Desist Orders were issued against Banco Nacional de Mexico (Banamex), Mexico; Banca Serfin, S.A., Mexico; Banco Internacional, S.A. (Bital), Mexico; Bancomer, S.A., Mexico; and Banco Santander, Spain. Each of these foreign banks operates one or more branches or agencies in the United States.

The enforcement actions result from an extensive undercover “sting” operation conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Federal Reserve assisted these law enforcement agencies.

In connection with the undercover operation, the Departments of Justice and Treasury announced today the indictment and arrest of several bankers charged with laundering approximately $70 million in the United States and abroad. They also announced the indictment of two of the Mexican banks subject to the Board’s enforcement actions (Bancomer, S.A. and Banca Serfin, S.A.).

The Board’s Temporary Cease and Desist Orders require the banks, among other things, to implement new anti-money laundering policies and procedures designed to correct the deficiencies in their current programs.

Federal Reserve examiners will continue to monitor the activities of the banks subject to the enforcement actions to ensure full compliance with all applicable money laundering-related laws and regulations

1998 Enforcement actions

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Last update: May 18, 1998, 11:00 AM