OCC Announces Enforcement Actions for April 2024

WASHINGTON—The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today released enforcement actions taken against national banks and federal savings associations (banks), and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with banks the OCC supervises.

The OCC uses enforcement actions against banks to require the board of directors and management to take timely actions to correct the deficient practices or violations identified. Actions taken against banks are:

  • Formal Agreement with First FS & LA of Lorain, Lorain, Ohio, for unsafe or unsound practices, including those related to the failure of the board of directors and bank management to develop and implement an appropriate strategic plan; appropriately manage and control liquidity and interest rate risks; implement effective Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) /Anti-Money Laundering internal controls; and appoint a BSA Officer with the requisite skills and expertise to oversee the BSA program, and the bank’s violation of law, rule, or regulation, including a violation relating to conducting ongoing customer due diligence. (Docket No. AA-CE-2024-3)
  • Cease and Desist Order against Heritage Bank, N.A., Spicer, Minnesota, for unsafe or unsound practices, including those related to capital adequacy, capital and strategic planning, credit review, ongoing monitoring of the credit portfolio, liquidity and liquidity management practices, and the allowance methodology. (Docket No. AA-WE-2024-24). The OCC also terminated the bank’s formal agreement dated October 27, 2023 (Docket No. AA-WE-2023-32), which was replaced by the cease and desist order. (Docket No. AA-WE-2024-36)
  • Formal Agreement with Minnstar Bank, N.A., Lake Crystal, Minnesota, for unsafe or unsound practices, including those related to concentrations of credit, credit underwriting and administration, appraisals, allowance for credit losses, strategic planning, incentive compensation, capital planning, and liquidity risk management, and violations of law, rule, or regulation, including those relating to loans to executive officers, lending limits, and appraisals. (Docket No. AA-CE-2024-2)

The OCC uses enforcement actions against an institution-affiliated party (IAP) to deter, encourage correction of, or prevent violations, unsafe or unsound practices, or breaches of fiduciary duty. Enforcement actions against IAPs reinforce the accountability of individuals for their conduct regarding the affairs of a bank. The term “institution-affiliated party,” or IAP, is defined in 12 USC 1813(u) and includes bank directors, officers, employees, and controlling shareholders. Orders of Prohibition prohibit an individual from any participation in the affairs of a bank or other institution as defined in 12 USC 1818(e)(7). Actions taken against IAPs are:

  • Order of Prohibition and Order for Civil Money Penalty against Norman Desembrana, Former Operations Senior Manager at the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lockbox facility of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for concealing a significant backlog of unprocessed customer checks. The assessed civil money penalty is $40,000. (Docket No. AA-ENF-2024-10)
  • Order of Prohibition and Order for Civil Money Penalty against Gary Judd, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank and Trust, FSB, Southfield, Michigan, for failing to appropriately oversee the bank’s operation of its Advantage Loan Program or supervise bank insiders involved in the implementation of the Advantage Loan Program. The assessed civil money penalty is $300,000. (Docket No. AA-ENF-2023-74)
  • Order of Prohibition and Order for Civil Money Penalty against Scott Seligman, an Institution-Affiliated Party of Sterling Bank and Trust, FSB, Southfield, Michigan, for participating in the operation of the Advantage Loan Program, contributing to a poor compliance culture at the bank, and pressuring bank employees to quickly underwrite Advantage Loan Program loans. The assessed civil money penalty is $400,000. (Docket No. AA-ENF-2023-75)
  • Order of Prohibition against Jackie M. Snider, Former Assistant Vice President at a Sulphur, Oklahoma, branch of Vision Bank, N.A., Ada, Oklahoma, for misappropriating at least $95,430 via the diversion of funds from customers’ accounts and taking efforts to conceal such misappropriation. (Docket No. AA-ENF-2024-22)

The OCC issues prohibition/suspension orders against individuals in response to certain criminal conduct. Pursuant to 12 USC 1818(g), in the case of a conviction against an IAP related to certain criminal violations, the OCC will issue an order prohibiting the IAP from any participation in affairs of a bank or other institution as defined in 12 USC 1818(e)(7). Such actions taken against IAPs are:

  • Order of Prohibition against John Edmonds, Former Vice President at JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., Columbus, Ohio, based on his conviction for commodities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, commodities fraud, commodities price manipulation, and spoofing in violation of 18 USC 371, 1343, 1348(1), and 7 USC 6c(a)(5)(C) and 13(a)(2). (Docket No. AA-ENF-2024-5)
  • Order of Prohibition against Christian Trunz, Former Executive Director at JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., Columbus, Ohio, based on his conviction for spoofing and conspiracy to commit spoofing in violation of 18 USC 371 and 7 USC 6c(a)(5)(C) and 7 USC 13(a)(2). (Docket No. AA-ENF-2024-4)

To receive alerts for news releases announcing public OCC enforcement actions, subscribe to OCC Email Updates.

All OCC public enforcement actions taken since August 1989 are available for download by viewing the searchable enforcement actions database at https://apps.occ.gov/EASearch.

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Treasury Targets Iranian UAV Program, Steel Industry, and Automobile Companies in Response to Unprecedented Attack on Israel

New Industries Targeted Generate Billions of Dollars in Annual Revenue

WASHINGTON — Today, in response to Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel on April 13, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is targeting 16 individuals and two entities enabling Iran’s UAV production, including engine types that power Iran’s Shahed variant UAVs, which were used in the April 13 attack. These actors work on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), its UAV production arm, Kimia Part Sivan Company (KIPAS), and other Iranian manufacturers of UAVs and UAV engines. OFAC is also designating five companies in multiple jurisdictions providing component materials for steel production to Iran’s Khuzestan Steel Company (KSC), one of Iran’s largest steel producers, or purchasing KSC’s finished steel products. Iran’s metals sector generates the equivalent of several billion dollars in revenue annually, with the majority coming from steel exports. 

OFAC is also sanctioning three subsidiaries of Iranian automaker Bahman Group, which have continued to materially support the IRGC and other entities designated pursuant to counterterrorism authorities, including Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL). Bahman Group itself is being concurrently designated for owning these entities. 

Concurrent with this action, the United Kingdom is imposing sanctions targeting several Iranian military organizations, individuals and entities involved in Iran’s UAV and ballistic missile industries.

“Today, in coordination with the United Kingdom and in consultation with partners and allies, we are taking swift and decisive action to respond to Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel. We’re using Treasury’s economic tools to degrade and disrupt key aspects of Iran’s malign activity, including its UAV program and the revenue the regime generates to support its terrorism,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “We will continue to deploy our sanctions authority to counter Iran with further actions in the days and weeks ahead. Over the last three years, we have targeted over 600 individuals and entities connected to Iran’s terrorist activity, its human rights abuses, and its financing of Hamas, the Houthis, Hizballah, and Iraqi militia groups. We have also vigorously enforced our sanctions, including by levying historic fines and exposing sanctions evasion schemes and networks. Our actions make it harder and costlier at every turn for Iran to continue its destabilizing behavior.”

Today’s actions are being taken pursuant to: Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, a counterproliferation authority; E.O.13871, which imposes sanctions with respect to the iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors of Iran; and E.O. 13224, as amended, a counterterrorism authority.  

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is also imposing new controls to restrict Iran’s access to technologies, such as basic commercial grade microelectronics.  These controls also apply to items manufactured outside the U.S. that are produced using U.S. technology. This is in addition to the comprehensive export restrictions already imposed on Iran, including controls targeting Iran’s involvement in supplying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in support of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.

UAV ENGINE PRODUCTION AND PROCUREMENT

OFAC is targeting executives of Iran-based UAV engine manufacturer, Oje Parvaz Mado Nafar Company (Mado Company). Iran-based Mohammad Sadegh Abutalebi (Mohammad Sadegh) is the chief executive officer (CEO) and member of the board of directors of Mado Company. Iran-based Ali Asghar Abutalebi (Ali Asghar) is a member of the board of directors of Mado Company. Mado Company produces, through reverse-engineering, the UAV engines used in Iran’s Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 UAVs, which Iran employed in its brutal UAV and missile attack targeted at major civilian population centers in Israel. Mado Company was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on October 29, 2021 for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of, the IRGC.

Mohammad Sadegh and Ali Asghar are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Mado Company.

Iran-based Aseman Pishraneh Co. Ltd (Aseman Pishraneh) services the small aircraft engine models used in several types of Iranian UAVs, including the Shahed-129 and Mohajer-6. Aseman Pishraneh is majority-owned by Paravar Pars Company (Paravar Pars) and provides Paravar Pars engines for Iranian gyrocopters. In addition, Aseman Pishraneh and Paravar Pars have overlapping leadership. Iran-based Ali Habibi Najafi (Habibi) is the managing director of Aseman Pishraneh. Paravar Pars was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on September 8, 2022 for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force.

Aseman Pishraneh is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for being owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Paravar Pars. Habibi is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for being owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Aseman Pishraneh.

IRGC-QF UAV PROLIFERATION

The IRGC-QF maintains a division known as Department 8000 tasked with developing UAVs and providing UAVs and UAV-related training to proxy forces such as the Houthis in Yemen and Iranian-aligned militia groups in Iraq and Syria. Iranian-manufactured UAVs have been provided to and utilized by Iran-backed militias across the Middle East, resulting in attacks against U.S. service members, allied forces, maritime vessels in the Red Sea. The IRGC-QF was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007 for providing support to multiple terrorist groups.

KIPAS is an Iran-based firm that has worked with the IRGC-QF to improve the IRGC-QF’s UAV program. KIPAS has helped procure UAV components, conducted UAV testing, and provided technical assistance to the IRGC-QF. KIPAS was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, on October 29, 2021 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of the IRGC-QF.

Abbas Sartaji (Sartaji), Mehdi Ghaffari Naghneh (Naghneh), Hasan Arambunezhad (Arambunezhad), Hadi Jamshidi Zavaraki (Zavaraki), Reza Nahar Dani (Nahar Dani), and Abolfazl Ramazanzadeh Moshkani (Moshkani) are all senior, Iran-based members of the IRGC-QF and are active in UAV testing, development, and supply, especially to groups in Iraq, Yemen, and Syria.

Ali Reza Nurian Ramsheh (Ramsheh), Mohsen Sayyadi Turanlu (Turanlu), and Arambunezhad are all senior, Iran-based executives of KIPAS. In addition to their work with KIPAS, Ramsheh, Turanlu, and Arambunezhad are also directly involved with IRGC-QF UAV procurement and development efforts.

Mohammad Sadegh Fatehi (Fatehi), Hamid Hajji Ebrahimi Forushani (Forushani), and Ali Asghar Al-Taf (Al-Taf) are all Iran-based KIPAS employees who have personally worked with IRGC-QF officials on the development and provision of UAVs. Iran-based Esma’il Azizkhani (Azizkhani) is a KIPAS employee who has worked to procure critical parts for UAVs and taken part in UAV production and testing on behalf of KIPAS.

Sartaji, Naghneh, Zavaraki, Nahar Dani, and Moshkani are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the IRGC-QF. Ramsheh, Turanlu, Fatehi, Forushani, Al-Taf, and Azizkhani are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, KIPAS. Arambunezhad is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the IRGC-QF and KIPAS.

Fateh Aseman Sharjf Company (FASC) works closely with the IRGC, specifically the IRGC-QF. Iran-based Majid Dehghan (Dehghan) is the co-founder, CEO, and managing director of FASC. FASC is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the IRGC. Dehghan is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, FASC.

KHOUZESTAN STEEL COMPANY CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS

KSC is one of Iran’s largest steel producers, including its top producer of steel bars. KSC’s production and sale of steel brings in billions of dollars of revenue for the Government of Iran annually. KSC was designated pursuant to E.O. 13871 on January 10, 2020 for operating in the iron, steel, aluminum, or copper sectors of Iran.  

PSI DMCC, based in Dubai, is an affiliate of KSC, which both helps to source parts and materials needed for steel production from foreign suppliers on behalf of KSC, and also facilitates steel exports on behalf of KSC. PSI DMCC has helped KSC source the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of parts used in the production process as well as facilitating the export of steel products from KSC to overseas buyers.

KSC has also used companies registered in Europe to source parts and facilitate exports. Kara Industrial Trading GmbH has purchased several tens of millions of dollars’ worth of steel from KSC, while also selling KSC the equivalent in raw materials to KSC for use in steel production. Good Run Limited has sold critical components including electrodes to KSC for use in steel production. Electrodes are the primary heating element in six electric arc furnaces used by KSC for the steelmaking process.

Magellanic Phoenix Marine and Trading Limited, based in Hong Kong, has purchased several tens of millions of dollars’ worth of steel products, including steel slab, from KSC since 2022.

Between 2022 and 2023, Türkiye-based HSF Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi has purchased several tens of millions of dollars’ worth of steel products from KSC. 

PSI DMCC, Kara Industrial Trading GmbH, Good Run Limited, Magellanic Phoenix Marine and Trading Limited, and HSF Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13871 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or serves in support of, KSC. 

BAHMAN GROUP SUBSIDIARIES

Bahman Group was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the IRGC. Bahman Group subsidiary Bahman Diesel Co. produces heavy trucks and other work vehicles, including for Iran’s armed forces. Bahman Diesel Co.-produced vehicles have been utilized in the IRGC’s military operations, including those involving UAVs and missiles.  

Iran Docharkh Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bahman Group, sells millions of dollars’ worth of motorcycles annually to the Armed Forces Personnel Cooperative Organization (ETKA), an entity owned by, and subordinate to, MODAFL. ETKA, a social welfare organization for those associated with the Iranian military, has ties to Iran’s missile program and the IRGC. 

Iran Chassis Manufacturing Co., another wholly owned subsidiary of Bahman Group, has purchased tens of millions of dollars’ worth of goods from Esfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Company, Iran’s largest steel producer. Mobarakeh Steel Company is used as a revenue stream for Bonyad Taavon Basij’s economic conglomerate. Mobarakeh Steel Company was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 16, 2018 for assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company, an entity with close ties to the Basij Resistance Force and its Bonyad Taavon Basij. The Basij was concurrently designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 for being owned or controlled by the IRGC and for assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF.

Bahman Diesel is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the IRGC. Iran Docharkh Co. is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or good or services to or in support of, MODAFL. Iran Chassis Manufacturing Co. is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or good or services to or in support of, Mobarakeh Steel Company. Bahman Group is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for owning or controlling, directly or indirectly, Bahman Diesel Co., Iran Docharkh Co., and Iran Chassis Manufacturing Co. Bahman Group is being concurrently delisted for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the IRGC.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. 

In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person. 

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 here. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please click here.

Click here for more information on the individuals and entities designated today.

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Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen Ahead of Trilateral Meeting with Minister of Finance Shun’ichi Suzuki of Japan and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Sangmok Choi of Korea

As Prepared for Delivery

I would like to thank Deputy Prime Minister Choi and Minister Suzuki for joining me in this trilateral finance ministers meeting, which is a significant milestone.

This is the first such meeting between our three ministries, and a key follow-up to our Leaders Summit at Camp David last August.

As Treasury Secretary, a key priority of mine has been to strengthen our relationships with allies and partners.

The United States deeply values our close partnerships with Japan and the Republic of Korea. Both countries are longstanding allies and friends to the United States.

And I see scope to further deepen our cooperation on key shared objectives in the region and globally, such as expanding resilient supply chains, countering economic coercion, and combating sanctions evasion.

I am glad to have been able to visit both of your countries as Treasury Secretary and that we now have this opportunity to gather in Washington to affirm the importance of our relationships and advance these objectives.

I look forward to thoughtful discussion today on critical issues for the American, Korean, Japanese, and global economies, as well as on support for Pacific Island countries, collaboration with international financial institutions, and securing prosperous and resilient growth at home and abroad.

Going forward, I am confident that the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan will continue to work together to meet the many challenges that lie ahead of us to secure economic growth and security in our three countries and across the Indo-Pacific region.

I would like to turn now to Minister Suzuki.

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READOUT: Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Adeyemo’s Meeting with Estonian Minister of Finance Võrklaev, Latvian Minister of Finance Ašeradens, Lithuanian Minister of Finance Skaistė, and Polish Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Finance Karbownik

WASHINGTON – On April 17, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo met jointly with Estonian Minister of Finance Mart Võrklaev, Latvian Minister of Finance Arvils Ašeradens, Lithuanian Minister of Finance Gintarė Skaistė, and Polish Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Finance Paweł Karbownik. They discussed their commitment to Ukraine and building on the unprecedented sanctions taken against Russia to stop its unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine. In particular, they discussed ways to continue providing near-term financial assistance to Ukraine, as well as ways to unlock the value of immobilized Russian sovereign assets to support Ukraine’s continued resistance and long-term reconstruction. They also discussed the ways to constrain Russia’s access to the goods it needs to build weapons, including the role China plays in supplying Russia’s military industrial complex. The Deputy Secretary noted the leadership of these countries on implementing multilateral sanctions, especially the price cap on Russia’s oil.

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Japan-Republic of Korea-United States Trilateral Ministerial Joint Press Statement

WASHINGTON – Today, we, the Finance Ministers of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States held our first trilateral meeting in Washington, DC. Our discussion builds on our Trilateral Leaders’ Summit last August in Camp David, and affirms the importance of our relationship to our own economies and to the global economy.

As leading global economies, we seek continued opportunity and prosperity for our peoples, the Indo-Pacific region, and the globe through open and fair economic practices. We will continue to cooperate to promote sustainable economic growth, financial stability, as well as orderly and well-functioning financial markets. We will also continue to consult closely on foreign exchange market developments in line with our existing G20 commitments, while acknowledging serious concerns of Japan and the Republic of Korea about the recent sharp depreciation of the Japanese yen and the Korean won.

Together, we affirm our commitment to utilize and coordinate our respective sanctions tools to impose costs on Russia for its war against Ukraine and target the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK’s) weapons program. We strongly condemn the DPRK’s exports to Russia, as well as Russia’s procurement of the DPRK’s ballistic missiles, in direct violation of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, and call upon them to immediately cease such activities. We emphasize the importance of collaboration to overcome supply chain vulnerabilities and the possible harm to our economies from non-market economic practices of other countries, including economic coercion and overcapacity in key sectors. We have reaffirmed Leaders’ commitment to mobilize financing for resilient supply chains and will work together to that end, including through the Partnership for Resilient and Inclusive Supply-chain Enhancement (RISE). We will continue to work together to evolve the multilateral development banks and strengthen other international financial institutions to better respond to key global challenges. Reaffirming the importance of ASEAN and Pacific Island countries, we will combine efforts to strengthen their macroeconomic and financial resilience as well as financial integrity. We welcome the progress in the trilateral collaboration among our development finance institutions. We will continue staff level engagement to take these forward.

These goals demonstrate the ongoing importance and unprecedented strength of this trilateral economic relationship between Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States. We will continue cooperation to strengthen our economies and promote global economic prosperity. 

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Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen Following Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal of Ukraine

As Prepared for Delivery

Prime Minister Shmyhal and Minister Marchenko, thank you for meeting with me today.

I was glad to discuss our key shared priorities, including international financial support for Ukraine, Ukraine’s reform progress, and Russia’s obligation to pay for the damages of its war of aggression.

Budgetary assistance from the United States is more critical than ever, as it is inextricably linked to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield and the government’s ability to deliver essential services to its people.

The United States has provided substantial direct budget support to Ukraine, as have our allies. As nearly all Ukrainian tax revenue funds your armed forces, our support has helped to fund critical services underpinning the war effort. Extensive controls and safeguards have ensured that this money is reaching the right people and is being used appropriately.

Now, the Biden Administration remains committed to providing Ukraine the military and economic support it needs.  We commend the Senate for passing the national security supplemental on a bipartisan basis. The failure of House Republicans to act to support Ukraine in this pivotal moment of the war for so long has been inexcusable—and detrimental to our national security. Every moment of delay by House Republicans strengthens Putin and emboldens America’s adversaries around the world who are closely watching to see if we, the United States, maintains its resolve to support a democratic Ukraine as it fends off an autocratic Russia. The House must move as quickly as possible to pass the House national security supplemental and the Senate should follow as soon as possible. 

Turning to your efforts, I commend you both, and the rest of the Ukrainian government, for maintaining economic stability and implementing ambitious reforms under incredibly difficult circumstances.

I congratulate Ukraine for all it has done to enable a successful third review of its IMF program, which is providing $15.6 billion in support and lays the foundation for a robust reform agenda.  

We also need to remain vigilant to ensure that Russia cannot acquire the goods and resources it needs to continue its war. The United States, as part of our global coalition, will continue to impose increasing costs on Russia through sanctions. We are also working to clamp down on evasion networks around the world that attempt to circumvent our efforts.

I will end with this: the United States stands with Ukraine and its allies.  Ukraine’s bravery in the face of this brutal invasion has been unshakable. The international community’s collective response to Russian aggression has demonstrated the strength of our coalition. Together, we will continue to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, freedom, and independence.

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READOUT: Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen’s Bilateral Meeting with Minister of Finance Christian Lindner of Germany

WASHINGTON — Today, Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen met with Germany’s Minister of Finance Christian Lindner on the sidelines of the 2024 Spring Meetings hosted by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. Secretary Yellen reiterated the Administration’s ongoing efforts to secure vital military assistance and direct budget support for Ukraine and underscored the importance of the House of Representatives acting as quickly as possible. Secretary Yellen also discussed ways to unlock the value of immobilized Russian sovereign assets to support Ukraine’s continued resistance and long-term reconstruction, and ways to constrain Russia’s access to the goods it needs to build weapons, including the role China plays in supplying Russia’s military industrial complex.  Secretary Yellen also addressed the Iranian regime’s attack on Israel, affirming that the Treasury Department would not hesitate to work with its allies to use its economic tools to continue disrupting the regime’s malign and destabilizing activity.

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Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen at 5th Ukraine Ministerial Roundtable

As Prepared for Delivery

I thank Prime Minister Shmyhal and Minister Marchenko for addressing this group.

We condemn Russia’s unprovoked and horrific war, which has terrorized the Ukrainian people and caused massive economic damage. It has also led to devastating effects around the world, including food insecurity. Ukraine has shown valiant resilience, and its government has done remarkable work providing for its people and addressing barriers that have hindered sustainable growth in the past, including corruption and governance. Ukraine’s positive performance on its IMF program has been key for delivering macroeconomic stability and advancing reforms.

We also appreciate the World Bank and the EBRD’s support for Ukraine both in the near term and in laying the foundation for recovery and reconstruction. I am pleased to share that last week the United States completed an agreement with the World Bank to contribute $255 million to World Bank trust funds to support

Ukraine’s critical export transportation needs and fuel private sector investment in Ukraine. And we continue to urge the House of Representatives to act to provide critical military assistance and budget support for Ukraine as soon as possible.

The international community must continue to support Ukraine and make clear that Russia cannot win by prolonging the war. And, in response to Russia’s war of choice, our historic sanctions coalition will continue restricting the Russian military’s access to the technology, equipment, and funds.

Let me be clear about our unwavering support for Ukraine. We have provided significant budget support grants to Ukraine in addition to other economic and military assistance, and the United States remains committed to supporting Ukraine alongside our allies.

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READOUT: Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen’s Participation in the 5th Ukraine Ministerial Roundtable

WASHINGTON – Today, Secretary Yellen participated in the 5th Ukraine Ministerial Roundtable, chaired by Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and World Bank President Ajay Banga. Secretary Yellen commended the Government of Ukraine for prudently managing its economy, providing for its people, and continuing to fight corruption and strengthen governance, all while valiantly standing up to Russia’s brutal aggression. She welcomed the strong support for Ukraine from its international partners, including the international financial institutions, and reiterated the commitment of the United States to support Ukraine and to degrade Russia’s war machine. She also welcomed agreement with the World Bank to contribute $255 million to support Ukraine’s critical export transportation needs as well as private sector investment in Ukraine via the World Bank’s Ukraine Relief, Recovery, Reconstruction and Reform Trust Fund and MIGA’s Support to Ukraine’s Reconstruction and Economy Trust Fund.

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READOUT: Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson’s Meeting with Deputy Minister of Finance and Public Credit Gabriel Yorio of Mexico

WASHINGTON — Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson and Mexico’s Deputy Minister of Finance and Public Credit Gabriel Yorio met on April 15th to discuss bilateral cooperation to combat illicit finance, following their meeting in December during Secretary Yellen’s trip to Mexico. Under Secretary Nelson and Deputy Secretary Yorio advanced conversations and collaboration on strengthening information sharing efforts between the two governments and with the private sector to address anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) priorities and challenges, in accordance with the law of both countries. Deputy Secretary Yorio and Under Secretary Nelson agreed to build on existing information sharing efforts on the laundering of illicit proceeds focusing on the following priority threats: 

  • Narcotics trafficking, including the trafficking of fentanyl 
  • Corruption  
  • Arms trafficking 
  • Human trafficking/human smuggling 
  • Fraud 

Under Secretary Nelson noted that Treasury encourages U.S. financial institutions to continue to use, and potentially expand, their existing processes to gather and share information with foreign financial institutions in furtherance of investigations that involve illicit cross-border activity. Deputy Secretary Yorio highlighted the commitment to foster information sharing between private sector entities and emphasized the support that Mexico has given to information-sharing mechanisms between Mexican and foreign banks and among Mexican banks. The legal framework for such mechanisms has been developed through regulatory updates and regular communication with the banks, which are key allies in combating illicit finance flows. 

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