Thursday, May 29, 2014


A Latin American money service business, with a claim* against Ecuadorian-owned Intercredit Bank, N.A., of Miami, Florida, has brought an interesting development to my attention. When the officers of the MSB attempted to access information regarding the prior regulatory actions taken against the bank, they ran right into 23 pages of websites, many of whom were exact duplications of other sites, or that lacked any serious content. In short, they were forced to wade through what I refer to as garbage and fluff, which is specifically designed, by hackers, to so pack Internet search results with nonsense, that the searcher gives up after a few pages, and never gets to the negative news he or she needs to see to make a compliance decision. Even an article about the bank's problems with undercapitalization did not show up until page six of the search results, and the truly negative information was way in the back of the line. Only the most persistent searcher would locate those web entries.

You know what this; it is reputation damage control, or reputation restoration, the sordid practice of placing so many obstacles in front of an searcher, that the truth is rarely, if ever, located. Now, when a corrupt Venezuelan PEP, who wishes to hide the stories about his reputed drug trafficking, or money laundering, uses these "services," I understand his motives. What I do not understand is why a commercial bank would stoop to using methods that are the hallmark of those with something very dark to hide; We expect total transparency in our financial institutions, in both the letter, and the spirit, of the law. Hiding your blemishes is unbecoming if you are a bank.

Compliance officers are having enough trouble dealing with reputation damage control tactics employed by individuals who are involved in financial crime; if we cannot trust our banks to play by the rules of polite conduct, then we will be forced to evaluate banks that we deal with, on a risk-based compliance regime, and some will be judged off-limits.

* The MSB asserts that the bank has defaulted in a business relationship, and thereafter failed to return certain securities that were delivered to senior bank officers in good faith. I will report on this matter in detail, only when it becomes a matter of official record, and I can quote from, and cite to, court filings.

For further reading on Reputation Damage Restoration firms:
Reputation Damage Firms are rendering Ordinary Due Diligence Ineffective

1 comment:

  1. InterCredit Bank is owned by a group of money launderers from Ecuador and have been ripping people off.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.