June 26, 2009

Citibank in Japan hit with suspension

Japan's Financial Services Authority said it ordered Citibank to cease its advertising for one month based on suspicious business transactions.

The regulator said it ordered the bank, formally Citibank Japan Ltd., to cease soliciting customers for one month starting July 15, based on suspicious transactions, including money laundering, The New York Times reported Friday.

The suspension is a follow up of 2004 warning, which also included suspension of some bank activities, the newspaper said.

The FSA said Citibank Japan mangers lack an understanding of the rule applied in Japan "¦ and an awareness of improvement.

Regulators said the bank had failed to update a database that was critical for screening out suspicious transactions.

In a statement, Citibank said, we apologize deeply and take the situation seriously.

The bank also said it would submit a plan by July 15 for bringing operations into compliance.