Commerzbank Agrees To Pay $1.7 Billion To Settle U.S. Sanctions Charges

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Commerzbank AG agreed Thursday to pay a combined $1.7 billion to settle U.S. federal and state regulator's claims that the German bank violated sanctions and anti-money laundering laws. In a release, the New York Department of Financial Services said Commerzbank "turned a blind eye" to help transfer funds for sanctioned clients like Iran and Sudan by stripping out information that would have raised alerts at regulatory agencies. The bank also aided accounting fraud at Japanese optics company Olympus Corp. In a separate statement, the Federal Reserve said it was investigating whether charges should be leveled against individuals at the bank who were involved in the illegal conduct. The bank disclosed in February that settlement talks with U.S. prosecutors were underway and the bank was raising its litigation reserves.

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