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Pakistan's United Bank says report on potential NY ops issues 'not accurate'

Pakistan-based United Bank Ltd. clarified a media report stating that it may face a similar issue as Habib Bank Ltd. in its New York operations over anti-money laundering regulations.

The bank said Feb. 22 that a quote in a Bloomberg News report from an analyst at Elixir Securities stating that the "bank said in its annual report it may a face a similar issue as Habib Bank in NY operations" was "not accurate." It added that it did not made any reference to Habib Bank in its 2017 annual report.

United Bank pointed out that it had only said it entered into a written agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2013 to address certain compliance and risk management matters related to anti-money laundering regulations. The bank's management is in the process of addressing the issues highlighted in the written agreement and there is no indication that the agreement will lead to any financial impact at the moment.

The Bloomberg report and the bank were referring to a US$225 fine imposed on Habib Bank and the closure of its New York unit over non-compliance with local anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing laws. U.S. authorities had discovered weaknesses in the lender's risk management and compliance, and its failure to undertake extensive remedial actions.