US Shuts Down Pakistan's Habib Bank over Terror Financing Concerns
United States banking regulator shut down operations of Pakistan’s Habib Bank (HBL) in New York after almost 40 years, according to a report in The Times of India. According to media reports, the regulator asked the bank to shut its office after it repeatedly failed to pay attention to concerns of possible terror financing and money laundering. HBL, which is Pakistan’s largest private bank, has been accused of not complying with regulations and not flagging transactions that potentially could have promoted money laundering and terrorism. The US Department of Financial Services, a regulator of foreign banks in the country, also slapped a 225 USD million fine on the bank. New York regulators have accused HBL of facilitating billions of dollars of transactions with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank, which reportedly has links to al Qaeda, and failed to ensure that the funds were not used for terrorism.