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Overseas regulators step up scrutiny against Mega International Commercial Bank's branches

MegaInternational Commercial Bank Co. Ltd.'s overseas branches arefacing greater scrutiny from overseas regulators after its New York branchwas fined for violating U.S. anti-money laundering rules, Reuters reportedSept. 28, citing Michael C.S. Chang, chairman of the bank's parent,

Among the branches coming under stricter regulations arethose in the U.S., Canada and Panama, Chang said. He added that the company mayconsider streamlining or closing branches in jurisdictions that are consideredhigh risk following a review of operations.

The New York branch will remain intact.

New York regulators fined the branch US$180 million for lapses andnoncompliance with U.S. anti-money laundering laws. The regulators uncoveredsuspicious transactions and accounts between the New York branch and the bank'sPanama branches.

Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission also the bank NT$10 million anddirected it to remove six executives for poorly managing its overseas branches.

The bank confirmed Sept. 28 that it did not followregulatory procedures in reporting suspicious transactions between its New Yorkand Panama branches, noting that there were "major deficiencies andshortcomings at the bank," as pointed out by the regulators. It added thatit is still looking into a large volume of transactions done in the past.

As of Sept. 28, US$1was equivalent to NT$31.34.