The chairman of Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) stepped down today over growing criticism about the watchdog’s effectiveness after state-run institution Mega Financial’s New York branch was fined $180 million by US authorities for anti-money laundering violations.
The case is the first time in years that a Taiwan-based financial institution was penalised by US authorities for allegedly failing to report a ‘suspect transaction’ amid anti-money laundering violations which were also reported to included lax attention to risk exposure in Panama.
Although Ding Kung-Wha claimed the bank did not help customers launder money overseas, he still decided to proceed with his resignation today.
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In a statement released by the FSC, Ding said he hoped his resignation would reduce damage to the Commission caused by the Mega Financial scandal. President Tsai has said the case had damaged Taiwan’s reputation and stirred up public mistrust regarding supervision of the financial sector.
Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-commented said Ding’s view was that he had done as much as he could in his role as chairman to assist the investigation and efforts to improve the FSC.
Mega International Commercial Bank is one of Taiwan’s largest banks by asset size and is seen as a well-connected financial group with its head appointed by the government.
Ding’s successor has yet to be selected.