[Letters] Due diligence protects a bank from harm

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[Letters] Due diligence protects a bank from harm

I would like to submit a correction to the Korea JoongAng Daily for my last op-ed published on April 28th as follows:

In 2009, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Hana Banking Corporation Ltd., a North Korean Bank, for its role in supporting illicit activity. In my article entitled ‘Note to Banks: Be Aware of Your Clients’ dated 28 April 2011, I mistakenly listed this entity as “South Korea Hana Bank.” This was inaccurate.

The Hana Financial Group, based in Seoul, has assured me that it has no association with North Korea’s Hana Banking Corporation Ltd., despite the very similar name. Financial institutions should note that Pyongyang may conduct business under others’ established trademarks to cause such confusion and divert attention from their criminal behavior.

Given the financial sanctions in place against rogue regimes like North Korea, South Korean financial institutions should ensure they are not conducting any business, including providing correspondent banking services, with any entity blacklisted by the international community or the U.S. Treasury Department. Such due diligence may protect a bank from both reputational harm and the danger of being denied access to the U.S. financial sector.

*Letters and commentaries for publication should be addressed “Letters to the Editor.” E-mailed letters should be sent to eopinion@joongang.co.kr.

Avi Jorisch, President, Red Cell Intelligence Group
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