New York Accuses Chinese Bank of Intentionally Violating AML and Sanctions Rules

By Daniel Bethencourt and Valentina Pasquali

New York regulators Friday issued a $215 million fine against China's third-largest bank for intentionally violating the state's rules against financial crime, possibly marking the largest U.S. penalty ever assessed against a Chinese lender accused of compliance misconduct. In a 28-page consent order, the New York State Department of Financial Services, or DFS, accused senior managers of Agricultural Bank of China's branch in Manhattan of disregarding the regulator's prior instruction to upgrade its transaction-screening systems before expanding its U.S. dollar clearing operations, which subsequently "skyrocketed" from $26 billion in the first seven months of 2014 to $72 billion from January...