Banco Nacional Ultramarino’s (BNU) existing control mechanisms are effective, the bank’s CEO assures, after documents leaked from the US federal agency FinCEN point to suspect financial transactions in Macao.
Confidential documents prepared by US banks and originally sent to FinCEN indicate, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), that Bank of China (BOC) Macao was responsible for the largest number of suspicious transactions in Macao, amounting to 43 out of 62.
Suspicious transfers made from BOC accounts abroad amounted to US$17.5 million (MOP 139.92 million). The list also includes HSBC – with two transactions sent in the global amount of US$111 million – and the ICBC, with three transfers received in the amount of US$7.2 million.
BNU is named in transfers worth US$40.2 million dollars – almost 60 per cent of the total – but only on transfers received, a total of 14.
In a statement to Macau News, BNU CEO Carlos Cid Álvares says an assessment carried out by the bank indicates the cases mentioned relate to occurrences between 2000 and 2017, which cannot be confirmed for reasons related to bank secrecy.
“We are very satisfied with the control mechanisms existing at BNU, which are audited by the supervisory authority, by our parent company and by BNU’s internal audit and which up to the present date, have shown high efficiency and solid robustness,” the banker added.
Cid Álvares has been the CEO of BNU since 2018.
BNU is part of Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Portugal’s state-owned bank.
Both the BNU and BOC are the issuing banks of Macao.