On 11 December 2013, Royal Bank of Scotland plc (“RBS”), an international banking group based in the United Kingdom, settled with the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) for apparent violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, Burmese Sanctions Regulations, Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008, Sudanese Sanctions Regulations and the Iranian Transactions Regulations. RBS agreed to pay $33,122,307 which OFAC deemed satisfied by payment of $50 million in penalties to the Federal Reserve Board (“FRB”) for the same conduct. RBS paid an additional $50 million to the New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) to settle allegations of violation of New York state laws arising from the same transactions.

All the apparent violations involved the processing of wire transfers through the US financial system to sanctioned persons or countries from 2005 to 2009. According to the US regulators, RBS stripped identifying data from the wire instructions to conceal the destination of the funds. RBS voluntarily self-disclosed the apparent violations. In determining the penalty, OFAC found that RBS’ conduct was reckless, that RBS did not maintain adequate policies or procedures to ensure compliance with sanctions programs, significant benefits were conferred on persons subject to US sanctions, and several members of RBS’ management were aware of the conduct that led to the apparent violations.

Treasury press release

OFAC enforcement announcement

FRB press release

DFS press release