Three news to start your week: October 2
HMRC boosts scrutiny of overseas accounts
To reinvigorate the fight against tax evasion, HM Revenue & Customs sent roughly a third more "nudge" letters to owners of foreign assets in the tax year ending in April than it did the year before.
A freedom of information request reveals that the tax office sent 23,936 letters linked to offshore concerns in 2022–2023—up 31% from 18,260 issued in 2021–2022 after scaling up its investigative efforts during the Covid pandemic.
HMRC has increased its queries to foreign tax authorities regarding UK residents, according to the FOI. It has made 298 of these requests so far this year, and it made 620 of them in the 2022 calendar year, the most in the previous five years.
Shinhan Bank's US unit to pay $25 million over alleged compliance faults
The US branch of Shinhan Bank, based in South Korea, has consented to pay $25 million to resolve US authorities' inquiries into purported noncompliance issues.
One of the largest financial groups in South Korea, Shinhan Bank America, a subsidiary based in New York, has reached settlements with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the New York State Department of Financial Services, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US Treasury Department. The agreements come after the bank was the target of prior federal enforcement efforts.
According to the regulators, the bank's anti-money laundering policies and transaction monitoring procedures were reportedly deficient. According to FinCEN, tens of millions of dollars in transactions connected to tax evasion, money laundering, and corruption passed through the bank. They weren't appropriately disclosed to US authorities due to the issues.
Chemical giant Albemarle agrees to pay $218 million to settle widespread FCPA violations
Friday saw the agreement by Albemarle Corporation to settle FCPA crimes of bribing government officials at state-owned oil refineries across the globe by agreeing to pay $218 million in fines and disgorgement to the DOJ and SEC.
With its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, the chemical company paid an administrative forfeiture of roughly $98.5 million and a criminal penalty of $98.2 million to enter into a three-year non-prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice.
Approximately $81.9 million of the forfeiture will be credited by the DOJ against the disgorgement that Albemarle has consented to pay to the SEC.