New York’s Apple Bank Slapped With $12.5 Million AML Fine

Anti-money laundering

Manhasset, New York-headquartered Apple Bank For Savings will have to pay a $12.5 million fine for violating anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday (Feb. 1).

The bank was accused of failing to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) per WSJ. The alleged offenses spanned more than four years between April 2014 and September 2018.

According to the WSJ: “The penalty was imposed after Apple Bank was asked in 2015 to enhance its anti-money-laundering compliance program. The bank had failed to comply with that FDIC order in a timely manner, the regulator said.” 

The 2015 order didn’t require Apple Bank to pay civil penalties to the FDIC, but instead outlined AML requirements the bank should undertake. Apple Bank for Savings agreed to comply with both orders without addressing FDIC’s findings, the WSJ reported. 

The bank also released a statement to PYMNTS that it said clarified the 2015 FDIC issues. According to that statement, Apple Bank entered into a Consent Order with the FDIC in December 2015 that required the bank to enhance its Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance Program. Based on changes made to its compliance program that had been completed as of September 2019, Apple Bank was released from the Consent Order on May 29, 2020 and paid a civil money penalty of $12.5 million in December 2020.

“Apple Bank is committed to strong and transparent relationships with its regulators and has worked diligently and invested considerable resources to address the FDIC’s comments,” the statement said. “Apple Bank’s enhancements to its compliance program have been acknowledged by the FDIC and reflect the bank’s commitment to providing superior service to the customers and communities it serves in New York, while maintaining a compliance program that complies with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.”

Apple Bank is chartered in New York and has locations across the state.

The U.S. Senate passed AML legislation in December of last year that would expand regulations and ban anonymous shell companies. The bill would mandate that businesses make information about their beneficial owners available to government authorities. 

The bill would also encourage the sharing of information and data between regulators and extend more authority to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) so it can uncover companies that skirt the rules.