The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced a $258,660,796 settlement with Commerzbank AG (Commerzbank) to settle potential civil liability for apparent violations of U.S. sanctions.
The settlement resolves OFAC’s investigation into Commerzbank’s use of payment practices that interfered with the implementation of U.S. economic sanctions by financial institutions in the United States. Those practices included deleting or omitting references to Iranian financial institutions and replacing the originating bank information with Commerzbank’s name from payment messages sent to U.S. financial institutions. Commerzbank also created a process to route payments involving Iranian counterparties to a payment queue requiring manual processing by bank employees rather than routine, automated processing. Commerzbank utilized these practices in 1,596 financial transactions routed to or through banks in the United States between 2005 and 2010 in apparent violation of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560; the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 538; Executive Order 13382 of June 28, 2005, “Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters” and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 544; the Burmese Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 537; and the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 515. Commerzbank’s settlement with OFAC is simultaneous with settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice, the New York County District Attorney’s Office, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the New York State Department of Financial Services.
For more information on this action, please visit the following web notice
or visit the following link for Treasury’s press release
on this topic.