Agricultural Bank of China (AG Bank)

Banking
China

In the summer of 2017 reports of banking restrictions for Iranian nationals surfaced when some Iranian expatriates said their accounts with AG Bank had been closed. However, on January 31, 2018, Chairman of the Iran-China chamber of commerce said the issue was resolved.

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"China’s third-largest lender tried to obscure the trail of dollar transactions by Russian, Chinese and Middle Eastern clients and attempted to silence a compliance officer who raised alarms about it, according to New York’s banking regulator. State-controlled Agricultural Bank of China was ordered to pay a $215 million penalty and install an independent monitor for 18 months to oversee the establishment of compliance controls, New York State’s Department of Financial Services said in a consent order Friday... Some invoices appeared to be counterfeited or falsified, the compliance staff said, including dollar transactions apparently involving an Iranian party under U.S. sanctions. Some of these transactions were sent through the global interbank-messaging system, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, using coded messages that masked client identities to avoid DFS screening, according to the consent order." (Bloomberg News, "China's AGBank Fined $215 Million for Hiding Transactions," 11/4.2016).