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About Banco de chile
Banco de Chile, is the second biggest banking group of Chile, behind Banco Santander-Chile and ahead of BBVA Chile. Founded on 28 October 1893 by the merger of the Valparaiso Bank, National Bank of Chile and Agriculturist Bank, Banco de Chile has traditionally led the Chilean financial market as one of the largest banks in terms of turnover and deposits, and has been successful in terms of return on assets and yield for its shareholders.
At the moment Banco de Chile belongs to the Quinenco group. It is a commercial bank that provides a complete range of financial services to a large client base, which includes large corporations, SMEs and private clients, through a national network of 237 branches, 807 ATMs and other electronic channels of distribution. Operations are organized around six main commercial divisions: large corporations, SMEs, private clients, consumer finance, international banking and capital markets. Additionally, subsidiaries offer securitization, securities brokerage, mutual investment and bottomry, insurance and factoring, among others. The Bank has had a branch in New York for more than 20 years. It also has one in Miami, and offices in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Hong Kong, providing international services.
In 2005 the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency removed the General Manager of Banco de Chile – New York from the United States banking industry and imposed a $200,000 civil money penalty against the individual for engaging in unsafe banking practices, related to his involvement in accounts owned or controlled by the prominent politically exposed person and his associates. In addition, Banco de Chile New York and Banco de Chile-Miami failed to timely respond to widely-publicized reports of alleged criminal activity by this high-profile Chilean politically exposed person and failed to gather and analyze information from applicable accounts in order to assess the potential for suspicious activity. The OCC issued a Cease and Desist order against Banco de Chile for Bank Secrecy Act violations. The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network also levied a $3 million penalty on Banco de Chile for not identifying, monitoring and reporting suspicious activity related to a Chilean politically exposed person, his family and associates doing business in its New York and Miami branches. The high profile Chilean PEP was confirmed to be Augusto Pinochet, the retired former president of the country who came to power in a military coup.
In 2009 Banco de Chile was one of four banks sued by the Chilean government for negligently or deliberately helping former dictator Augusto Pinochet hide $26 million in stolen funds. The other banks were PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Banco Santander, Espirito Santo Bank. “The Chilean government may have chosen to go after the four banks specifically because the documented evidence of negligence or willful blindness was stronger,” said Michael Diaz, managing partner with law firm Diaz Reus & Targ LLP in Miami, adding that the other institutions may be “on the periphery of liability.”