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South Korean banks beef up compliance at New York branches

South Korean banks and their branches in New York are boosting their compliance with the U.S. anti-money laundering regulations as overseas authorities prepare another round of inspections at the banks' branches, The Korea Times reported June 18.

NongHyup Bank has created a unit tasked with handling compliance-related issues and has increased the number of employees in the unit to 23 from 16, the report said, citing a bank official. Industrial Bank of Korea, KB Kookmin Bank and Shinhan Bank Co. Ltd. are in talks with U.S. regulators about their compliance with anti-money laundering laws.

Industrial Bank of Korea CEO Kim Do-jin is in New York to meet with regulators about updates in the bank's system after issues were found in 2016 relating to its anti-money laundering compliance. Meanwhile, KB Kookmin Bank is in the process of searching for personnel to perform tasks relating to anti-money laundering issues.

U.S. regulators have intensified their crackdown on banks that fail to comply with local anti-money laundering laws. So far in 2018, regulators imposed enforcement actions against two Taiwanese banks over their noncompliance with anti-money laundering laws.

NongHyup Bank is a unit of NongHyup Financial Group Inc., while KB Kookmin Bank is part of KB Financial Group Inc. Shinhan Bank is a unit of Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd.