New U.S. sanctions intended to block a blacklisted Lebanese Shiite group from accessing the global financial system will likely raise compliance risks for lenders with operations in Lebanon and Europe, say analysts.
U.S. financial institutions must freeze any account and block any payment linked to the Syria Islamic International Bank (SIIB), the U.S. Treasury Department announced Wednesday.
American banks must block any transaction tied to Syria's largest bank and report the freeze to the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, under sanctions issued Wednesday.
Large banks are bracing for possible orders from the Obama administration to freeze assets of individuals in the Syrian government that could come as early as this week, say compliance professionals.
A Beirut-based lender acted as a "primary money laundering concern" by handling hundreds of millions of dollars for drug traffickers and a designated terrorist organization, U.S. officials said Thursday.
A federal court's dismissal of a two-year old lawsuit against five Lebanese banks for allegedly providing financial services to Hizbollah could impact lawsuits against other banks facing similar cases.