Japan watchdog, BOJ to assess banks’ anti-money laundering steps

Japan’s financial regulator and the central bank plan to launch a sweeping investigation as early as this summer to see how well regional financial institutions’ anti-money laundering measures are functioning, the Nikkei business daily said on Wednesday.

The move comes as the global dirty money watchdog Financial Action Task Force will likely point out inadequate internal control systems at Japanese financial institutions in an assessment it will publish in August, the paper said.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) aim to learn if regional banks and other local financial institutions are implementing sufficient steps against fraudulent money transfers and, if found to be inadequate, the FSA and BOJ will ask them to take corrective action, the Nikkei said.

The BOJ declined to comment, while FSA officials were not immediately available.