Bank of China pays €3.9m to end French money laundering probe

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Bank of China pays €3.9m to end French money laundering probe

Bank of China, one of the big four state-owned banks in China, has agreed to pay €3.9m ($4.2m) in a settlement with French tax authorities who had launched a criminal prosecution into the bank.

The settlement, reported by Bloomberg, comes following allegations by Paris that Bank of China failed to notify the authorities of millions of euros its clients were transferring from France to its accounts in China. 

Remi Heitz, the Paris prosecutor, said that the Chinese bank will pay a €3m fine plus €900,000 in damages to French tax authorities. 

In 2013 Tracfin detected a rapid increase in the revenue of a Paris-based plumbing and locksmith shop and reported the unusual activity to the tax authorities."

The investigation was initiated by Tracfin, a French anti-money laundering body. In 2013 Tracfin detected a rapid increase in the revenue of a Paris-based plumbing and locksmith shop and reported the unusual activity to the tax authorities.

In a statement Bank of China said: "Bank of China strives to comply with anti-money laundering laws and is constantly reinforcing measures to do so."

The charge against Bank of China alleged it had engaged in "aggravated money laundering" for the transfer of €40m across 168 accounts between 2012 and 2014.

The case represents the first such deal negotiated directly by French prosecutors against a foreign bank. 

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.