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FSC to Report on Mega Bank Suspicious Transactions in LY Closed-Door Session

icon2016/09/22
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   FSC to Report on Mega Bank Suspicious Transactions in LY Closed-Door Session   
 
Source: All Taipei newspapers     September 22, 2016
 
During a meeting at the Legislative Yuan’s (LY) Finance Committee yesterday, Ding Kung-wha (丁克華), Chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), revealed that prosecutors and investigators had obtained documents related to a total of 174 suspicious transactions involving 76 bank accounts, adding that the FSC would let legislators see the documents in a closed-door Finance Committee meeting scheduled for next week.     
 
Yesterday, the LY’s Finance Committee invited fiscal and financial chiefs to deliver reports on the high-profile Mega Bank case. 
 
Michael Chang (張兆順), the newly-appointed Chairman of Mega Bank, stated yesterday that he could not rule out the possibility that customers engaged in illegalities, such as money laundering, in view of the suspicious transactions found in Mega Bank’s overseas branches.    
 
Ding told legislators at yesterday’s Finance Committee meeting that the FSC had a good grasp of the information in the original documents related to 174 suspicious transactions involving a total of 76 foreign customers, adding that prosecutors and investigators had obtained these documents through various channels. 
 
However, Ding stated that given the restrictions in certain agreements, the FSC was unable to make public the documents, but would allow legislators to view these documents in a closed-door LY Finance Committee meeting next week. 
 
Ding stated that most of the suspicious transactions were related to companies registered in Venezuela, adding that so far the FSC had not linked any of the suspicious transactions to political parties or enterprises in Taiwan.       
 
A government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed concerns that the FSC’s decision to allow legislators to see the documents would probably cause a backlash from the US and Panama given the fact that Taiwan and the US had signed an MOU to ensure that bank customers’ information remained confidential. “The possible consequences include an order to close down Mega Bank’s New York and Panama branches,” the government official stated. 
 
Ding also stated yesterday that he did not know what would happen if the FSC let legislators see bank customers’ confidential information.             
 
The government has decided to seek indemnity from Mckinney Tsai (蔡友才), a former chairman of Mega Bank, over the unprecedented fines of US$180 million imposed by the New York State financial regulator for violating the US Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). 
 
Mega Bank’s board of directors is expected to adopt a resolution this Friday to seek indemnity from Tsai.     
 

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office stated yesterday that they had encountered many difficulties during its investigation as they were unable to obtain sufficient information in the case given the fact that the suspicious bank accounts were all registered overseas and the fact that the FSC had signed confidentiality agreements with foreign governments.   

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