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Nov. 13, 2008, 1:13 p.m. EST

US Federal Reserve takes action against German bank

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By Maya Jackson

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The Federal Reserve is taking action against a banking unit of German insurance company Allianz SE for allegedly violating U.S. federal and state anti-money laundering laws.

In an order it released Thursday, the Fed said the foreign bank, Dresdner Bank AG, and its New York branch are now taking steps to correct "certain violations of law and deficiencies relating to the New York branch's compliance with applicable federal and state laws, rules and regulations relating to anti-money laundering."

The Fed noted that the New York branch of Dresdner Bank provides significant banking services to non-U.S. branches and affiliates and also conducts U.S. dollar funds transfer clearing for corporate clients.

Under the Fed's cease and desist order, the bank must direct and oversee a review of its New York branch's corporate governance and business accountability practices and report back to the Fed about actions taken to improve its compliance policies.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Commerzbank AG (CBK.XE) received U.S. Federal Trade Commission approval to buy Dresdner from Allianz SE. Commerzbank has agreed to acquire Dresdner from Alliance in a two-part, EUR9.8 billion transaction announced in September. The takeover is set to be completed at the end of 2009.

-Contact: 201-938-5400

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