Canadian Watchdog Fines Unnamed Bank Over Suspicious Transaction

Canada’s financial-transaction watchdog has fined a bank C$1.2 million ($910,000) for failing to report a suspicious cash transfer.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, or FINTRAC, published an overview of the penalty on its website Tuesday but chose to not identify the bank so as to get the information out more quickly, according to spokesman Darren Gibb. 

“We are exercising our discretion to withhold the name of the entity so that we can send a message of deterrence right now and bring about improved compliance behavior,” he said in a phone interview.

The bank “recently paid the penalty” and the case was investigated in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Gibb said, declining to provide further detail.

The agency’s website cites five violations by the bank, including failure to report a suspicious transaction, failure to report a receipt of more than C$10,000 in cash and failure to report that a cash transfer of over C$10,000 was sent from Canada.

The fine is the largest administrative penalty levied by the agency since 2008, and the first against a bank. The independent agency reports to Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

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