Central Bank of Cyprus suspends activities of FBME

The Central Bank of Cyprus on Wednesday announced the suspension of all operations of the Cypriot branches of Tanzania-based bank FBME until Friday, with sources saying a possible extension of the suspension by another two days is likely.

It follows the central bank’s decision on Monday to place the two branches under administration and then under resolution, as the lender is facing a US money-laundering investigation.

FBME, whose branches on the island are estimated to hold 1.7 billion euros in deposits, denies all charges of wrongdoing and has challenged allegations from Washington that the bank was a “primary money-laundering concern.”

The central bank has stated that its aim is to sell the assets of the local branches of FBME after freezing them last Friday.

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