TD Bank's anti-money laundering lapses on House of Commons' radar

Analysts have suggested financial penalties in the U.S. could top US$2 billion

Article content

The House of Commons standing committee on finance is planning to discuss whether lapses in Toronto-Dominion Bank’s anti-money-laundering controls, which have already drawn regulatory scrutiny in the United States, warrant a deeper look here at home.

According to its agenda, the finance committee will on Friday consider whether to discuss “the recent revelations regarding TD Bank Group and allegations of failing to report money laundering related to trafficking of the illegal hard drug fentanyl, and other money laundering violations across the financial sector in Canada.”

Advertisement 2

Article content

Article content

Canada’s second-largest bank is in the midst of several probes connected to violations of U.S. banking regulations, including rules to prevent money laundering.

The bank said it has already taken an initial US$450-million provision in relation to a probe by one of three U.S. regulators and that it is in ongoing talks with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Analysts have suggested financial penalties in the U.S. could top US$2 billion due to the lapses, which according to media reports led to hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money being laundered through TD’s U.S. operations.

Earlier this month, the bank was hit with a financial penalty of nearly $9.19 million for several instances of non-compliance with Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) found TD Bank failed to submit suspicious transaction reports where there were reasonable grounds to suspect that transactions were related to a money laundering or terrorist financing activity offence.

Advertisement 3

Article content

The penalties were imposed for administrative violations and there was no allegation that the penalties were tied to criminal offences for money laundering or terrorist activity financing, FINTRAC said on May 2.

Recommended from Editorial

At TD’s annual general meeting in April, chief executive Bharat Masrani acknowledged that the investigation has weighed on the bank’s share price.

Last May, TD’s US$13.4 billion deal to buy Memphis-based First Horizon Corp. was called off because the banks did not have clarity on if and when they would get the necessary regulatory approvals. In August, TD disclosed that it expected U.S. regulators to impose penalties.

• Email: [email protected]

Bookmark our website and support our journalism: Don’t miss the business news you need to know — add to your bookmarks and sign up for our newsletters here.

Article content