FinCEN Withdraws Proposed Rulemaking against Lebanese Canadian Bank SAL

By Rob Rowe

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is withdrawing its proposed rulemaking to impose special measures against Lebanese Canadian Bank SAL (LCB). In 2011, FinCEN concluded that LCB was a financial institution of primary money laundering concern and published a proposed rulemaking to impose the fifth special measure—prohibiting the opening or maintaining of correspondent or payable-through accounts for the bank. FinCEN had reason to believe that LCB – which is based in Lebanon and operates a network of 35 branches in Lebanon and Montreal, Canada – had ties with an international narcotics trafficking and money laundering network, including the Treasury-designated terrorist group, Hezbollah, and Lebanese-Colombian drug trafficker and money launderer Ayman Saied Joumaa.

The Lebanese Central Bank has since revoked LCB’s banking license and its assets have been liquidated. LCB no longer exists as a foreign financial institution and FinCEN therefore will not proceed with its proposed 2011 rulemaking.


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