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Commerzbank Ordered to File Anti-Money-Laundering Plans

Commerzbank AG (CBK), Germany’s second-largest lender, will take steps to improve anti-money-laundering controls at its New York branch under a U.S. Federal Reserve order citing lapses in its correspondent banking business.

The Frankfurt-based company agreed to submit a written plan to the central bank for enhancing the branch’s compliance with requirements including those of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act, the Fed said today in a cease-and-desist order. Commerzbank agreed to the order without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

The Fed has been citing some of the world’s biggest banks for lax controls over transfers that could allow terrorists and drug rings to move money around the globe. U.S. regulators have told Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) to tighten their procedures.

“Commerzbank is fully cooperating with the Federal Reserve on this matter and is committed to satisfying the terms of the agreement,” Margarita Thiel, a spokeswoman for the bank said in an e-mailed statement today.

As part of its agreement, Commerzbank will hire a consultant to perform a review of U.S. dollar clearing transactions from May through October last year and report any suspicious activity, the Fed said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Comfort in Frankfurt at ncomfort1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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