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Canada's anti-money laundering agency imposes $6.7 million fine on TD Bank

FILE PHOTO: Financial institutions in the financial district of Toronto

(Reuters) -Canada's anti-money laundering agency said on Thursday it had imposed its biggest-ever penalty of nearly C$9.2 million ($6.71 million) on TD Bank over non-compliance of anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

The bank has been grappling with regulatory probes over its AML compliance program both at home and in the United States, which have been a drag on the stock's performance.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) said the administrative monetary penalty on TD Bank was imposed on April 9 following a compliance examination in 2023.

FINTRAC said it found that TD Bank had failed to submit suspicious transaction reports as well as assess and document money laundering and terrorist activity financing risks.

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"As part of their regular review of Canadian financial entities, FINTRAC identified five specific administrative findings that require our attention. Improvements have been made and more are underway," TD Bank spokesperson Lisa Hodgins said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

The penalty comes days after Canada's second-biggest bank set aside $450 million in relation to ongoing discussions with a U.S. regulator over its AML compliance program.

Last month, TD Chief Executive Officer Bharat Masrani acknowledged that its AML compliance program was not up to the mark and the bank was working on addressing it.

FINTRAC also said on Thursday TD Bank had failed to conduct ongoing monitoring of business relationships as well as take the prescribed special measures for high risk.

The administrative monetary penalty has been paid in full by TD Bank and the proceedings have ended, the agency said.

The anti-money laundering agency has stepped up monitoring after the federal government added new powers relating to national security.

Last year, it fined two of the country's big banks — Royal Bank of Canada and CIBC — for a total of C$9 million over violations that included failure to submit suspicious transactions.

($1 = 1.3709 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Arasu Kannagi Basil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)