UPDATE 3-Taiwan probes Mega Financial after U.S. money laundering-related fine

martes 23 de agosto de 2016 08:37 GYT

* Bank fined $180 mln for AML violations, lax Panama oversight

* Taiwan prosecutors gathering documents for local probe

* Mega Financial chairman says bank didn't launder money

* Says bank failed to declare a rejected suspicious remittance (Adds travel ban on Mega Financial's ex-chief, assistance of current chief)

By Liang-Sa Loh and J.R. Wu

TAIPEI, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Taiwan is investigating if Mega Financial Holding Co and its banking unit broke local criminal laws in a case that led to U.S. authorities fining the state-controlled group $180 million for anti-money laundering violations.

New York authorities on Friday slapped Mega International Commercial Bank with the fine for violations that included lax attention to risk exposure in Panama, the first time in a decade that a Taiwan-based financial institution has been penalized by U.S. authorities.

The fine is a major embarrassment for the Taiwan government because Mega Financial, whose management has close ties to key government officials, is an industry pillar in the island's financial system.

The disciplinary action comes as anti-money laundering (AML) controls at banks in Greater China are under intense scrutiny abroad, following a series of high-profile judicial investigations and regulatory probes in the United States and Europe.   Continuación...