UBL set to shut down New York branch in realignment strategy

NEW YORK – The United Bank Limited (UBL) has announced to close down its operations in New York voluntarily.

UBL, one of the top five banks in Pakistan, decided to shut down branch after viewing the commercial viability of the NY Branch and voluntarily liquidating and surrendering its license.

“As part of its global realignment strategy, UBL intends to voluntarily liquidate and surrender its license pursuant to the New York banking law… This is a commercial decision keeping in view the commercial viability of the NY branch,” UBL Company Secretary and Chief Legal Counsel Aqeel Ahmed Nasir said in a notification sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday.

The statement also says that the bank already has well established multiple correspondent banking relationships who provide US dollar clearing services to its customers.

The closure may lead to a decrease in the remittance into the country.

Moreover, UBL shares were down PKR3.31 to close at PKR137.34 on Thursday. The KSE-100 index was down 545.21 points on investor concerns about the country’s economic uncertainty.

In 2017, the New York State Department of Financial Services fined HBL’s New York branch $225 million, after failing to comply with its Anti-Money Laundering Laws and Bank Secrecy Act, and booked it in 53 violations of the state’s rules, regulations, orders, and agreements committed to by HBL itself since 2006.