The Deputy Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Ashatu Kijaji has said 727m/- has been paid to people with savings at the FBME bank, whose business licence was revoked and placed under liquidation by the Central Bank in May this year.
She gave the statistics in Parliament here yesterday while answering a supplementary question by Ms Zainab Katimba, who wanted to know how much has been paid since the BoT placed the bank under liquidation after it was accused by the U.S. government of large-scale money laundering.
She said the money was paid to more than 625 FBME bank customers with not more than 1.5 m/- since June this year by the Deposit Insurance Fund which is under the Deposit Insurance Board.
However, she said the payment will be paid in shillings even for customers with foreign currency since that is according to banking rules and regulations. Dr Kijaji said for customers with over 1.5m- deposit, they should continue to wait because the money will be paid after receivership.
The Central Bank took over the management of FBME Bank in July 2014 following a report from the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), describing the bank as a “primary money laundering concern.”
The Tanzanian-registered bank mounted a legal challenge against the allegations, but a U.S. court ruled in favour of FinCEN in April, allowing it to shut the bank out of accessing the U.S. financial system.
The decision also paved way for the Central Bank to revoke the bank’s licence, officials said. The Bank of Tanzania has discontinued all banking operations of FBME Bank Ltd, revoked its banking business licence and placed it under liquidation and appointed the Deposit Insurance Board as a liquidator.
FBME Bank is registered in the East African country but has been conducting most of its business operations elsewhere, notably in Cyprus.