The bank, which is based in London, expects to reach a "resolution" with the U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control and New York District Attorneys office, Lloyd's said in a statement Friday.
Lloyds and the Bank of Cyprus are subject to U.S. jurisdiction because Title 18 USC 1956 (b) grants such extraterritorial reach to U.S. courts and because both signed "Consent of Jurisdiction" letters in order to do business in the U.S., according to the Justice Department.
Plaintiffs charge in the lawsuit that Switzerland-based UBS knowingly provided financial services for Hamas, a Palestinian political organization blacklisted in the U.S. for terrorism since 1995. The group is purportedly responsible for 2004 bombing in Bethlehem that resulted in 11 deaths.
The cases, seeking nearly $300 million in fines, should be dismissed because they constitute an "unprecedented attempt to apply the U.S. money laundering statute beyond its explicit, but limited" extraterritorial reach, Bank of Cyprus and Lloyds TSB Bank argued in court documents released today.
The fallout from the securities fraud and anti-money laundering case involving the two institutions may continue, suggest compliance consultants, who say financial institutions involved in correspondent transactions with the defendants may face pressure from regulators and law enforcement.
Prosecutors are seeking nearly $300 million in penalties, charging that the two foreign-based banks helped to launder the proceeds of a massive securities fraud involving shares of software maker AremisSoft.