Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s subsidiary, MUFG Bank, has been ordered to improve anti-money laundering (AML) controls and other compliance procedures at its US based branches by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

The financial services watchdog has found the US subsidiary of Japan’s largest bank has shortcomings in proper trade finance monitoring, internal controls, suspicious activity monitoring, foreign correspondent due diligence programme, independent audit and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) officer staffing functions.

Violating regulations

The order to improve AML controls followed the OCC’s announcement of a cease and desist order against MUFG Bank branches in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles for violating the BSA and its underlying regulations.

The US regulator has now established a compliance programme for the branches that are continuing to operate under an OCC consent order that requires the bank to undertake corrective actions under that programme.

No illegality or fine

According to MUFG, the OCC did not identify any illegal transactions, including any violations of Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions regulations. Neither did the financial services watchdog impose any monetary penalty.

Amongst the bank’s efforts to improve BSA/AML compliance, OFAC sanctions compliance, and anti-corruption compliance across MUFG Bank’s worldwide operations it has established a Global Financial Crimes Division headquartered in New York to oversee all financial crimes compliance.