Summary: PriceWaterhouseCoopers will pay a $25 million fine and go on a two-year suspension following an investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services into an altered report.
In an agreement with New York regulators, PriceWaterhouseCoopers will be suspended for two years from consulting for new bank clients and pay $25 million, according to The Associated Press. The agreement stems from an investigation into the company that found it altered a report regarding the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and its role in money laundering.
This agreement, announced on Monday, follows a $250 million settlement reached between the bank and regulators in New York just last year.
The investigation was conducted by New York’s Department of Financial Services and it found that the bank altered its report sent to regulators on wire transfers on the behalf of Iran, Sudan and other countries that were under United States sanctions. The bank altered the report when under pressure from its executives.
Ben Lawsky, the department superintendent, said, “We are continuing to find examples of improper influence and misconduct in the bank consulting industry. When bank executives pressure a consultant to whitewash a supposedly ‘objective’ report to regulators — and the consultant goes along with it — that can strike at the very heart of our system of prudential oversight.”
The U.S. advisory leader for the bank, Miles Everson, said that the agreement is for a single engagement that occurred six years ago. The bank searched for and identified transactions that were reported by the bank to regulators. He said the report disclosed the facts that it discovered.
The payment of $25 million is for the approximation of fees and the expenses the company was paid for the report it issued to go along with the investigation cost of the company.
The investigation also discovered that the bank withheld more than 20 percent of a director’s compensation after the director suggested the bank stop conducting further analysis that showed wrongdoing by the bank.