ANZ, UOB face scrutiny over business with Myanmar military’s bank | Banks News

Main worldwide monetary establishments have carried out transactions with Innwa Financial institution since coup, paperwork present.

Huge banks, together with Australia’s ANZ, have continued to do enterprise with a financial institution owned by Myanmar’s navy administration regardless of its bloody crackdown on anti-coup protests, in line with an advocacy group and leaked paperwork.

ANZ, one in every of Australia’s “large 4” banks, was utilized by Hong Kong-based insurer AIA to switch funds to Innwa Financial institution, which is owned by navy conglomerate Myanmar Financial Company (MEC), in August and September 2021, Justice for Myanmar mentioned, citing leaked financial institution paperwork.

Malaysian firm edotco, which leases towers to Myanmar cell operator Mytel, additionally used ANZ to hold out transactions with Innwa Financial institution accounts in April and June 2021, in line with the activist group’s report launched on Wednesday.

Singapore’s UOB, one in every of Southeast Asia’s greatest banks, facilitated transactions between a Chinese language delivery agency and MEC in June and July final yr,

The Singaporean lender was additionally used for transactions between Myanmar-based Lamintayar, a provider of powdered milk, and a variety of its executives.

In the meantime, BIDV, a lender collectively owned by the State Financial institution of Vietnam and South Korea’s KEB Hana Financial institution, carried out not less than 18 transactions with Telecom Worldwide Myanmar, which is a component owned by MEC, in line with Justice for Myanmar.

Close up of the blue ANZ sign with white letter and a blurred background of a rainy pavement, with woman walking past holding a red umbrella
ANZ, one in every of Australia’s “large 4” banks, has been used to switch funds to Myanmar’s military-owned Innwa Financial institution, in line with leaked paperwork [File: Tim Wimborne/Reuters]

The leaked Innwa Financial institution paperwork had been obtained and printed on-line by Distributed Denial of Secrets and techniques, a self-described transparency collective that usually releases data hacked from governments and companies.

A UOB spokesperson mentioned the financial institution couldn’t touch upon particular person consumer relationships however will implement “enhanced due diligence on consumer relationships and transactions involving Myanmar the place relevant”.

“We’re intently monitoring the state of affairs and on the identical time, guaranteeing compliance with native and worldwide guidelines and rules,” the spokesperson instructed Al Jazeera.

“When making use of enhanced due diligence measures, we are going to be sure that flows of funds for humanitarian help, professional non-profit organisation exercise and remittances aren’t disrupted.”

Al Jazeera contacted ANZ, BIDV and AIA for remark.

An ANZ spokesperson quoted by Justice for Myanmar mentioned the financial institution was monitoring the state of affairs in Myanmar and acted in accordance with all legal guidelines.

“ANZ should adjust to all relevant legal guidelines in the entire jurisdictions through which it operates, together with necessities of supra-national organisations, such because the United Nations and European Union,” the spokesperson mentioned, in line with the activist group.

Innwa Financial institution has performed an essential function in Myanmar’s military-owned companies with the ability to preserve entry to the worldwide banking system amid United States sanctions, in line with a 2019 impartial fact-finding mission by the United Nations Human Rights Council

Whereas the EU, United Kingdom and US have imposed sanctions on MEC over the 2021 navy coup, main economies corresponding to Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea haven’t taken motion towards the conglomerate.

Justice for Myanmar mentioned the worldwide banks’ enterprise with Innwa Financial institution confirmed “a failure of governments to take a coordinated method to isolating navy conglomerates and slicing the junta’s sources of income”.

“Banks should instantly ban transactions with Myanmar navy banks, or threat complicity within the junta’s worldwide crimes,” the activist group mentioned.

Myanmar’s navy administration has killed greater than 2,400 civilians since overthrowing Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratically elected authorities in February 2021, in line with activists.

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