Tanzania fines five banks for lax anti-money laundering controls

Tanzania fined five commercial banks for breaching the country’s anti-money laundering regulations. (AFP)
Updated 23 September 2019

Tanzania fines five banks for lax anti-money laundering controls

  • Fines were imposed ‘for failure to conduct proper customer due diligence and file suspicious transaction reports to the (state-run) Financial Intelligence Unit’

DAR ES SALAAM: Tanzania’s central bank said on Monday it had fined five commercial banks over $800,000 for breaching anti-money laundering rules, the latest in a series of moves aimed at tightening regulation in the financial services sector.

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) said in a statement the fines were imposed “for failure to conduct proper customer due diligence and file suspicious transaction reports to the (state-run) Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).”

I&M Bank was slapped with the biggest fine at 655 million Tanzanian shillings ($284,782.61), followed by Equity Bank (580 million shillings), UBL Bank (325 million shillings), Habib African Bank (175 million shillings) and African Banking Corporation (145 million shillings).

The banks were not immediately available for comment.

The regulator gave three months to the sanctioned banks to implement various anti-money laundering measures, which include taking disciplinary action against all staff members “who were involved in opening implicated deposit accounts contrary to KYC (know your customer) requirements.”

Tanzania has tightened regulatory oversight over commercial banks and other financial institutions over the past few years.

The central bank last month gave all banks and financial institutions in Tanzania 90 days to establish primary data centers in the East African nation, saying it will impose hefty fines on lenders that fail to comply.

The country’s financial services sector, which is dominated by lenders like CRDB Bank and NMB Bank, has been hit by a spike in bad loans, which have stifled the growth of credit to the private sector.

In December, the International Monetary Fund said nearly half of Tanzania’s 45 banks were vulnerable to adverse shocks and risked insolvency in the event of a global financial crisis.

Tanzania’s central bank has revoked the licenses of at least nine banks since 2017, saying the move was aimed at safeguarding the stability of the sector.

The closure of the banks came after President John Magufuli ordered the central bank to take action against failing financial institutions.


China's aviation regulator raised concerns with Boeing on 737 MAX design changes

Updated 12 December 2019

China's aviation regulator raised concerns with Boeing on 737 MAX design changes

  • China is reviewing the airworthiness of the plane
  • China was first country to ground plane in March

BEIJING: China’s aviation regulator raised “important concerns” with Boeing Co. on the reliability and security of design changes to the grounded 737 MAX, it said on Thursday, but declined to comment on when the plane might fly again in China.
China is reviewing the airworthiness of the plane based on proposed changes to software and flight control systems according to a bilateral agreement with the United States, Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) spokesman Liu Luxu told reporters at a monthly briefing.
He reiterated that for the plane to resume flights in China, it needed to be re-certified, pilots needed comprehensive and effective training to restore confidence in the model and the causes of two crashes that killed 346 people needed to be investigated with effective measures put in place to prevent another one.
China was the first country to ground the 737 MAX after the second crash in Ethiopia in March and had set up a task force to review design changes to the aircraft that Boeing had submitted.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will not allow the 737 MAX to resume flying before the end of 2019, its chief, Steve Dickson, said on Wednesday.
Once the FAA approves the reintroduction into service, the 737 MAX can operate in the United States, but individual regulators could keep the planes grounded in other countries until they complete their own reviews.
“Due to the trade war, the jury is still out on when China would reintroduce the aircraft,” said Rob Morris, Global Head of Consultancy at Ascend by Cirium.
Chinese airlines had 97 737 MAX jets in operation before the global grounding, the most of any country, according to Cirium Fleets Analyzer.