Manulife revealed as bank fined $1.15M for violating anti-money laundering reporting rules

The head of Canada’s top financial crime watchdog is second-guessing his decision last year to withhold the name of a bank — which CBC Investigates has identified as Manulife Bank of Canada — fined $1.15 million for not reporting hundreds of transactions it was obligated to report under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) received an earful from angry Canadians upset that it wouldn’t share the name of the bank — the first in Canada to be penalized under the country’s expanded money laundering rules, which were amended in 2002 to include terrorist financing.

  • Waffle

    A $1.5 million “fine” is a slap on the wrist with a wet noodle.

  • Exile1981

    Two other banks were ‘warned’ in 2015 for not reporting transactions they knew to be linked to terrorism, they agreed to additional training for staff rather than be fined. The one in 2016 was a bank that failed to file paperwork according to my sources. The earlier two were ones that may have had a better idea of what was going on.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Anything to do with ‘churn’?
      I think that was Wells Fargo who were churning clients accounts to boost their own revenue.

      • Exile1981

        A family member works for a bank and management was very happy in spring of 2015 because the big three all got busted for helping select clients avoid the trip wires that require the bank to report to Fintrac.

        There are a bunch of criteria that if the client or their transaction meet any of them then the transaction must be reported to Fintrac. Banks are not supposed to tell clients that their transaction meets the criteria and they should never (as in it’s illegal) to advise client how to modify their transactions to be outside the criteria.

        Manulife didn’t report transaction they were supposed to. Partly that could be annoyance. Back in my banking days we had a client who always hit one of the criteria and we did the paperwork every time they deposited. Unfortunately Fintrac never gives feed back, so while we suspected the transactions where legitimate we never got an answer out of fintrac saying to stop reporting that client.

        In the case of the earlier 2015 investigations Fintrac found that the banks in question where helping the suspect avoid detection. In most of those cases it was individual bank tellers and CSO’s doing it and not a company wide policy.

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          Sounds like a nudge nudge wink wink say no more kind of thing.

          • Exile1981

            I kind of assumed that the staff in question where likely co-religionists with the terrorism funders.

  • simus1

    Thank goodness no “muslim sects that prefer secret cash only” ways of doing business or any credit unions were accidentally involved. The CBC can rest easy outing this perp(s).

    OT update:

  • mauser 98

    HSBC to pay $1.9 billion U.S. fine in money-laundering case
    JPMorgan Chase Fines Exceed $2 Billion