This is the first time that a federal agency attached to the U.S. Treasury has issued a fine against an international banking institution in Puerto Rico, according to El Nuevo Día newspaper.
FinCen assured that, for years, Bancrédito did not file suspicious activity reports (SAR) on time, nor did it establish a due diligence program for correspondent accounts established, maintained, administered or managed in the United States for other financial institutions.
Nor did it implement the compliance program to prevent money laundering within its operations.
“Bancrédito failed to comply with its SAR reporting obligations by failing to file SARs for years and ignoring violations cited by its primary regulator, the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions of Puerto Rico (OCIF),” it stated.
These transactions included suspicious activities by a Bancrédito executive and activities involving clients in Venezuela’s high-risk jurisdiction, including clients linked to bribery and money laundering.
Bancrédito was founded by Julio M. Herrera Velutini, who, according to a federal indictment against him, conspired with former Puerto Rican governor Wanda Vázquez-Garced to bend the OCIF and get out of an investigation of the institution.