WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve fined Switzerland's largest bank, UBS AG, $100 million Monday for allegedly sending dollars to Cuba, Libya, Iran and Yugoslavia in violation of U.S. sanctions against those countries.
UBS operated a trading center for dollars in its Zurich headquarters under contract with the Federal Reserve of New York, to help the circulation of new U.S. notes and the retirement of old ones. A condition for the Swiss bank was not to deliver or accept dollar notes through the depot to or from banks in countries under U.S. trade sanctions.
In an announcement, the Fed said that UBS had violated the agreement and that some former officers and employees of the bank, whom it did not name, intentionally concealed the transactions by falsifying UBS' monthly reports to the U.S. central bank. The individuals were not part of the order issued Monday by the Fed, in which UBS agreed to pay a $100 million civil fine without admitting to the allegations.
The bank said Monday that some employees have been dismissed and disciplinary measures were taken against others. employees.
The Swiss Federal Banking Commission has reprimanded UBS and will inspect its operations to ensure that corrective actions are effective, the bank said.
"UBS recognizes that very serious mistakes were made, accepts the sanctions and expresses its regret," the bank said in a statement. "It has already instituted corrective and disciplinary measures and has decided to exit the international banknote trading business."
The New York Fed terminated its contract with UBS last October.
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