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No Pak bank involved in money laundering: Rana Afzal Khan

No Pak bank involved in money laundering: Rana Afzal Khan

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, categorically rejected reports about the involvement of Pakistani banks in money laundering, saying, no Pakistani bank is involved in any sort of act of money laundering.

In September last year the US Department of Financial Services (DFS) fined Habib Bank New York branch $225 million for failure to comply with New York laws and regulations designed to combat illicit financial transactions. The order followed a 2016 DFS examination that found weaknesses in the bank’s risk management and compliance and the bank’s failure to undertake extensive remedial actions.

However, while responding to observations about HBL’s involvement in money laundering by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) members of the National Assembly, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan said that HBL was fined for not complying with certain American rules and regulations and it was totally wrong perception that reason of fine was bank’s involvement of money laundering related practices.

MQM members spoke on a calling attention notice related to termination of 144 employs by giving them pre-mature retirement by HBL management. But the MoS said that HBL was one of the major and successful private bank of Pakistan with branches in more than 25 countries. “The State Bank of Pakistan conducted a thorough inquiry into the issue and concluded that HBL was not involved in money laundering” he observed

“Since HBL is a private bank, therefore, it does not fell under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Finance therefore, ministry does not reserve any right to interfere in the managerial and administrative issues of the bank” he said adding that HBL followed the relevant service rules on taking decision regarding termination of employees along with provision of one month salary and other incentives to the terminated employees.

Actually, he said that HBL was following a process of modernization and the terminated employees did not fulfill the modern banking criterions and trends, therefore, bank waited for the completion of 25 years of their service and then terminated them. However, he said that aggrieved people reserved right to file a writ petition at the pertinent forum against the action of the bank against them.