Promontory, PwC Said to Be Subpoenaed by N.Y. Regulator
By Greg Farrell – Sep 13, 2013 1:15 AM ET
New York state’s financial regulator has expanded its investigation of conflicts of interest in the banking industry with subpoenas of consulting firms, a person familiar with the matter said.
Promontory Financial Group LLC and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP were sent subpoenas by the Department of Financial Services during the past several months, said the person who asked not to be identified because the matter wasn’t public.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s building stands in the financial district of Toronto. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial services, asked Promontory to provide information related to its work with Standard Chartered Plc (STAN), which agreed to pay $667 million last year to his department and other regulators to settle charges of violating U.S. laws concerning money transfers to Iran. The subpoena also asks Promontory to provide information about its work with another bank suspected of transferring dollars to Iran, the person said.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers subpoena is related to the consulting firm’s work with Mitsubishi UFJ-Bank of Tokyo, the person said. In June, the Tokyo bank agreed to pay $250 million to Lawsky’s department to settle claims that it had engaged in improper dollar transfers to Iran, Sudan and Myanmar.
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., the main lending unit of Japan’s biggest bank by market value, moved an estimated $100 billion through New York for government and privately owned entities on the Specially Designated Nationals list issued by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control from 2002 to 2007, the financial services department and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement in June.
The transfers involved about 28,000 clearing transactions and the bank routinely stripped information from wire transfer messages that could identify countries and people subject to international sanctions, the department said.
A representative of Washington-based Promontory didn’t immediately return a phone message left with the firm’s answering service after regular business hours yesterday. Clare Chachere, a PricewaterhouseCoopers spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return an e-mail after regular business hours seeking comment on the New York probe.
The subpoenas were reported earlier by Time magazine and the New York Times.
Promontory has done work this year for Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News.
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