Thursday, January 4, 2018

Turkey's State Bank Headed for Trouble? Sanctions trouble?

The conviction of a Turkish banker in New York on Wednesday could spell trouble for Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, the state-run lender implicated in a money-laundering and sanctions-evasion scheme that formed the basis of the prosecution.

The guilty verdict rendered by the Manhattan jury applies only to Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who headed international banking at Halkbank. But federal prosecutors presented a stream of evidence that they said showed that Atilla and other Turkish bankers helped Iran launder billions of dollars to evade U.S. financial sanctions.
Recall that Atilla is a no one and a nothing at Halkbank? From a previous post which will be relinked at the bottom
"Attila scarcely counts as a bigwig, a onetime sub-CEO
-At what time was he a "one time sub-CEO?
"He was, in effect, the lone symbolic defendant"
For a  show trial

If the U.S. government finds that that bank engaged in wrongdoing, it could take a range of actions up to curbing the bank’s ability to conduct transactions in U.S. dollars, the lifeline for any bank operating globally. In a statement to the stock exchange, Halkbank said it’s not a party to the charges that were aired in the U.S. trial and that Atilla has a right to appeal.
It's not an "if", it's just a when because this is exactly what the US was after so they can enact a sanctions regime aka a Magnitsky 2.

Following the conviction, Joon Kim, the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, issued a blunt warning: “Foreign banks and bankers have a choice: You can choose willfully to help Iran and other sanctioned nations evade U.S. law, or you can choose to be part of the international banking community transacting in U.S. dollars. But you can’t do both.”
 The private banking cartel dictates... 

Kim’s statement suggests that a response may be forthcoming from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, which is responsible for enforcing the nation’s sanctions laws. The Treasury Department declined to comment, as did Turkey’s Treasury.

OFAC’s options, if it finds wrongdoing, range from fines and penalties to the most severe punishment -- a special designation, which would effectively cut off Halkbank from the U.S. financial system. It’s a rarely utilized punishment described as an extreme penalty for a bank.

“I would be surprised if the bank is not subjected to some kind of enforcement action,” said Jack Glover, a former sanctions investigator at the Treasury who has also worked in compliance for banks. “Treasury must be having these discussions right now.”

As Turkey’s biggest listed state bank, with assets of 280 billion liras ($74 billion), Halkbank’s success is viewed by the government as a national cause. The bank’s traditional client base consists mainly of small businesses, and with its options for offshore financing hampered by the trial in the U.S., it’s relying on local-currency financing to fund increased lending, Chief Executive Officer Osman Arslan said in an interview on Oct. 20.

Zarrab Trial & Magnitsky 2.0 Readied for Turkey 

Relinked post ending commentary below:

"If this trial goes as it appears to be going. And let's not mince words here - this is a show trial. It's intended to create the conditions to promote a specific agenda. Pressure the Erdogan government. Ostracize them globally. Make life miserable for  Turkish citizens. Encourge regime change."

Not to hard to see coming........

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