The Central Bank had taken control of FBME’s operations in Cyprus, following a report from the US Treasury describing the bank as a “primary money laundering concern.”!!!!

Taking over control of a bank and suspending its activities based on a report from the US Treasury, without giving any further information to the public as to how and why; is that a part of the actionplan to attract more financial companies to Cyprus?

Been told by FBME that at least another two days on top of current block, so Tuesday earliest!!! So I am severely …………

I am a Cyprus resident (11 years) and business owner. I moved to FBME from Laiki because they have a high liquidity and do not do interbank lending. I am peeved that they had done 250m of Cyprus bonds with CBoC. (Kleenex is softer!!!). I use FBME card (services) linked to my account for cash access. I cannot top the card up! My lease is up on my house (I used up the deposit on the last two month’s rent, so nothing back there), so I am meant to pay a deposit and advance rent to my new landlord but have no access to my monies. I’m in breach of my old lease if I stay and in breach of my new contract, and no landlord will let you move in without getting paid! I had run down food stocks for the move but have no cash to feed my family. I have final readings on utilities, so will be cut off . Also I cannot pay business bills, so that will go under. I would leave Cyprus but cannot buy tickets. At nearly 50 not a place/situation in life that I should be. (Not the midlife crises I expected!!!) I would stand as an MEP if someone finances me and will do to Cyprus what it has done to me and mine, and others over the last few years.

May be FBME, Bank of Cyprus shareholders and others who have lost want to sponsor me?!?

 

Been to Alpha Bank explained the situation, cannot open an account there, “they do not deal with persons who work in financial services” is what they said!!! Is that not what they do??? Barclays; sorry Cyprus is on their list of jurisdictions that they restrict along with Russia, Ukraine and others. Yet they have branches here!!! So British/European, legitimate trading and salary income…… Offshore companies BVI, Bahamas, Belize, USA (Delaware, NY, Wisconsin), Cyprus holding co’s, foreign trusts etc…not a problem!!

You are free to move money within Cyprus but there is capital restrictions for bringing funds outside of Cyprus.

You seem to know well UK banking and government practices, but not that much you know about Cypriot government and banks. None of them, I repeat NONE ever thought, thinking or will think about ‘law abiding depositors’ except as a source for personal gain.

Been to Alpha Bank explained the situation, cannot open an account there, “they do not deal with persons who work in financial services” is what they said!!! Is that not what they do??? Barclays; sorry Cyprus is on their list of jurisdictions that they restrict along with Russia, Ukraine and others. Yet they have branches here!!! So British/European, legitimate trading and salary income…… Offshore companies BVI, Bahamas, Belize, USA (Delaware, NY, Wisconsin), Cyprus holding co’s, foreign trusts etc…not a problem!!

CBC extends suspension of FBME operations (updated) 

CBC extends suspension of FBME operations (updated)
FBME HQ in Nicosia
The Central Bank (CBC) has extended the suspension of the operations of Tanzania-based FBME Bank, placed under administration last week after being deemed a “primary money laundering concern” by the US Treasury.

The CBC announced on Friday that it was extending the suspension for another two working days – Friday and Monday.

“The FBME branch in Cyprus will not execute any customer orders for money transfers and payments during this period,” the CBC said in a statement.

Last Friday, the Central Bank said it had taken control of FBME’s operations in Cyprus, following a report from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US Treasury describing the bank as a “primary money laundering concern.”

Tanzania’s Central Bank followed suit, announcing on Friday that it had taken over the management of the lender.

Tanzania’s central bank said it took control of FBME Bank on Thursday because of the potential effect of the Cypriot move on Tanzania’s own banking system. It said FBME’s four branches in the east African country would remain open for business.

“The objective underlying this decision … is to ensure safety of customers’ deposits and safeguard the entire banking system,” it said in a statement.

FinCEN accused FBME, which though chartered in Tanzania operates primarily in Cyprus, of facilitating financial activity for transnational organised crime and Hezbollah.

FBME has denied the allegations, saying the US Treasury had compiled the report without its input.

The bank also claimed that the CBC’s action was a hostile takeover and that the authorities seemed to have forgotten that it took part in a quarter million euro bond issue last year as part of the island’s bailout.

Meanwhile, the suspension is causing problems to businesses which deal with FBME.

One company official said his outfit had outstanding phone and electricity bills and were due to be cut off because they could not make the payments.

“Without internet and electricity obviously we cannot function and we are in the process of finalizing transactions, which have taken us over a year and with proceeds in the millions from legitimate business,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The CBC said its action aimed at protecting the bank’s depositors but the official was unconvinced.

“I fail to see how seeing our company fall into insolvency and also be subject to breach of contract litigation, also in the millions, due to our inability to function as a business, protects us in the least.”

The company is asking the CBC to at least provide it with a letter to use with the utilities to ensure their operation.

 

COMENTS:

 

      • USA attacking Russian interests and with a money laundering scam, USA entered the bank in Cyprus with weapons drawn, wtf??? USA did nothing to HSBC for factually laundering mexican drug cartel money – but then again US Gov’t supplied drug cartels with arms in effort to remove 2nd amendment rights from USA law-abiding citizens – USA is corrupt and out-of-control

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        Interesting to read all the comments on this subject. I used to work for one of the UK banks before moving to Cyprus in the AML Function. Nearly 10 years ago there were concerns raised about Cyprus and Money Laundering and could we identify anything that could potentially affect our operations in Cyprus. Unlike Fraud, detecting Money Laundering is not black and white, it is shades of grey. FMBE bank if iI recall was mentioned back then. Why does a bank move It’s domicile from Lebanon to Tanzania and then conduct 90% of it’s business through Cyprus ? If that does not ring alarm bells what does ? Trying to prove Money Laundering is altogether more difficult when you consider the millions of transactions daily and the use of front companies, individuals, businesses, trusts etc. The authorities are hardly going to disclose everything they know in public about terrorist and criminal financing. The banks in the UK are effectively an unpaid arm of the government when it comes to trying to detect Money Laundering in terms of systems and staff costs. If they do not spend millions on doing this they are fined heavily by the government for failing to do so. Trying to identify Money Laundering is like looking for the needle in the haystack as the vast majority of customers are law abiding and honest but they can be inconvenienced by the very small minority. To those that say it is just an excuse by the Cypriot government to raid deposits I think is very naive as they will be trying to protect those very depositors and also trying to halt terrorist and criminal financing.

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        • Avatar

          You seem to know well UK banking and government practices, but not that much you know about Cypriot government and banks. None of them, I repeat NONE ever thought, thinking or will think about ‘law abiding depositors’ except as a source for personal gain.

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        I hope people understand that this action has nothing to do with “terrorism” it is to deal with Obama’s new sanctions against Russians that are friends of Putin. FinCEN is now a tool for terrorists.

  • Avatar

    Interesting to read all the comments on this subject. I used to work for one of the UK banks before moving to Cyprus in the AML Function. Nearly 10 years ago there were concerns raised about Cyprus and Money Laundering and could we identify anything that could potentially affect our operations in Cyprus. Unlike Fraud, detecting Money Laundering is not black and white, it is shades of grey. FMBE bank if iI recall was mentioned back then. Why does a bank move It’s domicile from Lebanon to Tanzania and then conduct 90% of it’s business through Cyprus ? If that does not ring alarm bells what does ? Trying to prove Money Laundering is altogether more difficult when you consider the millions of transactions daily and the use of front companies, individuals, businesses, trusts etc. The authorities are hardly going to disclose everything they know in public about terrorist and criminal financing. The banks in the UK are effectively an unpaid arm of the government when it comes to trying to detect Money Laundering in terms of systems and staff costs. If they do not spend millions on doing this they are fined heavily by the government for failing to do so. Trying to identify Money Laundering is like looking for the needle in the haystack as the vast majority of customers are law abiding and honest but they can be inconvenienced by the very small minority. To those that say it is just an excuse by the Cypriot government to raid deposits I think is very naive as they will be trying to protect those very depositors and also trying to halt terrorist and criminal financing.

    • Avatar

      You seem to know well UK banking and government practices, but not that much you know about Cypriot government and banks. None of them, I repeat NONE ever thought, thinking or will think about ‘law abiding depositors’ except as a source for personal gain.

  • Avatar

    I hope people understand that this action has nothing to do with “terrorism” it is to deal with Obama’s new sanctions against Russians that are friends of Putin. FinCEN is now a tool for terrorists.

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    This is to protect the depositors eh?
    Surely not the ones who, according to a certain Jennifer Sharkey Calvery of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (the American organisation behind this bank seizure) are “money launderers” and “terrorism financiers” from “the darkest corners of the criminal underworld”.
    FBME claims to have helped the Cyprus government out with a 240M Euro loan. It seems the government was not too fussy about where the money came from until now.
    There must be some honest depositors caught up in this unholy mess. I wonder if they and the rest of us will ever know what has been going on.

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      Two friends of mine (both in telecom business) were caught in this mess already, fortunately their businesses do not depend 100% on FBME transactions. They both described FBME as a ‘very convenient bank’ with ‘least idiotic restrictions for businesses’.

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    I removed my own angry comment!

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    Avatar

    Been to Alpha Bank explained the situation, cannot open an account there, “they do not deal with persons who work in financial services” is what they said!!! Is that not what they do??? Barclays; sorry Cyprus is on their list of jurisdictions that they restrict along with Russia, Ukraine and others. Yet they have branches here!!! So British/European, legitimate trading and salary income…… Offshore companies BVI, Bahamas, Belize, USA (Delaware, NY, Wisconsin), Cyprus holding co’s, foreign trusts etc…not a problem!!

  • Avatar

    The hunger for other peoples` money is growing at a frightening pace by the Cyprus Government to keep the circus running.

    First the Billions of Euros in Depositors Funds were taken, Billions of hard-working EU Taxpayers contribute € 10 billion to the Ringmasters, The ECB comes up with Billions more, then new taxes were invented based upon faulty land valuation data, and now a corrupt bank in a corrupt economy is seized. The corrupt bank`s attraction is that it is reasonably liquid and therefore seen as another source of money to take to pay for the overblown and corrupt practices that have infested Cypriot Goverment, Business and Society since the Republic began.

    What is next, another transfer of Depositors` cash – it is there, easy to get and block and with no intent to ever repay it?

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    It beggars belief, here we are in the 21st century and the banking system is unable to identify the ‘clean’ accounts and allow them to be used as normal. No such refinements as a Banking Ombudsman to whom you could appeal. I am beginning to think my idea of settling here is a bad one. Thank God I left my money elsewhere.

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      guess..can i ask where did you leave your money?where do you reccomend?

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        Avatar

        Oh I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone how or where to invest their money David, I wish I was more money aware. There are some very fine financial advisers who are qualified to give such advice. I believe most mainstream banks employ experts to help their account holders too.

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          come on guest…cant you give some ideas to someone who hasnt much but just dosent want in in a local bank

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            I am very flattered you would consider I have such expertise, sorry I don’t. I suggest you do as I did, talk to someone who makes a living from giving such advice. If you do have a Bank of Ireland where you are, they are as good as any other I have dealt with, but really as far as I am aware there are no high interest rates for investors at the moment.

             
             
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    Avatar

    Taking over control of a bank and suspending its activities based on a report from the US Treasury, without giving any further information to the public as to how and why; is that a part of the actionplan to attract more financial companies to Cyprus?

    • Avatar

      I ‘guess’ they never thought of that one Ronny, still lack of thought and planning is their speciality. Would you trust your money to them?

  • Avatar

    The whole story smells rotten fish (red herring it may be?)

  • Avatar

    It will be very interesting the day USA states the same about Hellenic Bank, BoC and so on.

    This if anything is undermining the trust in banks locally.

    Just google whistleblower and hellenic bank and you will see some stories about them.
    Tryfon holdings
    Vaselios Xeniadis

    Or prince albert von Anhalt and a Belize company with 200 millions in Hellenic bank.

    When will CBC look into this bank, and shut it down and put it for sale?

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    I hope there will be an investigation on why and how CBC knowing that FBME “allegedly” were laundering proceeds of crimes yet still accepted 250milion from them!!!

    I’ll sit on the Resolution Authority to oversee CBC and lock them down for a few weeks!!!

  • Avatar

    Been told by FBME that at least another two days on top of current block, so Tuesday earliest!!! So I am severely …………

    I am a Cyprus resident (11 years) and business owner. I moved to FBME from Laiki because they have a high liquidity and do not do interbank lending. I am peeved that they had done 250m of Cyprus bonds with CBoC. (Kleenex is softer!!!). I use FBME card (services) linked to my account for cash access. I cannot top the card up! My lease is up on my house (I used up the deposit on the last two month’s rent, so nothing back there), so I am meant to pay a deposit and advance rent to my new landlord but have no access to my monies. I’m in breach of my old lease if I stay and in breach of my new contract, and no landlord will let you move in without getting paid! I had run down food stocks for the move but have no cash to feed my family. I have final readings on utilities, so will be cut off . Also I cannot pay business bills, so that will go under. I would leave Cyprus but cannot buy tickets. At nearly 50 not a place/situation in life that I should be. (Not the midlife crises I expected!!!) I would stand as an MEP if someone finances me and will do to Cyprus what it has done to me and mine, and others over the last few years.

    May be FBME, Bank of Cyprus shareholders and others who have lost want to sponsor me?!?

 

 

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