Bangladesh Bank Theft: New York Fed Stands By Transfer Procedures

Bank replies to US lawmaker query whether transfer of funds should have been blocked.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has said there is no problem with its automated fund-transfer procedures and that it only manually checks credibility of transfers related to individuals or bodies put under sanctions, reports Reuters.

The bank’s executive vice president and general counsel Thomas Baxter was replying to a query from US Represntative Carolyn Maloney with regard to the $81-million Bangladesh Bank heist in February 2016.

Maloney has questioned the procedures used by the New York Fed and whether it should have blocked the transfers which allowed $81 million to be stolen from Bangladesh Bank via the SWIFT network. The New York Fed managed to block 30 of the transfers but after letting five get through.

On April 14 Baxter replied to Maloney saying the bank was dependent on the verification carried out by SWIFT and approved all transfers once they had been authenticated by the network. There are no measures in place at the bank “designed to protect our customers from an unauthorized transfer”, said Baxter.

The lawmaker said she was “concerned that there are critical security gaps in the international payment system”.

More on this story at Reuters.

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