Bank of Tanzania says FBME Bank is Financially Sound Despite Money Laundering Allegations

The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) said that the USA’s Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) final ruling will have an effect for the future of FBME Bank.

The FinCEN recently ruled that FBME was linked to money laundering and that prohibits the US financial institution from opening or maintaining correspondent accounts or payable on behalf of the bank.

The BoT said in a public notice published in several newspapers that it was aware of the ruling and currently reviewing the situation with the view of determining an appropriate course of action to take including resolution options.

“At the moment FBME will continue with normal banking operations until such time when the Bank of Tanzania will determine its future,” the central bank said.

BoT added: “nevertheless, in its financial position FBME remained liquid and solvent.” The FinCEN ruling pertains to FBME’s banking operations outside Tanzania where scores of its customers have been forced to seek services from other banks and financial institutions.

In another development, the FBME Statutory Manager, Mr Lawrence Mafuru said the final rule-making and the proposed measures issued at end of last week “do not have any new effects” to the bank’s customers as are served locally.

“The management of the (FBME) will continue to ensure that all the depositors continue to access their money as much as possible without any need to panic,” Mr Mafuru, who is also a Treasury Registrar, said.

The statutory manager said they will continue with their duty of discharging their obligations in line with the term of reference of statutory management mandate.

Since last July, the BoT took over the management of FBME and put it under statutory management with a view to ensure customer’s deposits are safe. The move, however, causes no disruptions on the country banking system.

Rather deployed smooth investigations without causing any loss of damage of the bank’s assets or panic. FBME is the largest bank in the Tanzania in terms of assets, despite of having all of its assets outside the country, mostly in Cyprus.

Originally published on DailyNews Tanzania