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Bank regulators lift consent orders for Fulton Financial subsidiary

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Bank regulators have terminated consent orders issued in response to deficiencies in anti-money-laundering practices at one of Fulton Financial Corp.'s subsidiary banks.

The orders were placed on Fulton Bank of New Jersey in 2015 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance for lack of compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act. The federal law requires financial institutions in the U.S. to assist government agencies in detection and prevention of money laundering.

"These actions are very welcome, and they provide independent acknowledgement of the progress our company has made in strengthening our BSA/AML (Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering) compliance programs. Our entire team remains focused on achieving similar resolutions of the BSA/AML enforcement actions that remain in place at our two other banking subsidiaries and the holding company,” E. Philip Wenger, Fulton Financial’s Chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

The two subsidiaries with orders still in place are The Columbia Bank in Maryland and Lafayette Ambassador Bank in Pennsylvania. 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last October lifted similar orders at three of the company’s other banking subsidiaries: Fulton Bank N.A., FNB Bank N.A. and Swineford National Bank.

The order at the holding company level must be lifted in order for Fulton Financial to acquire a bank and merge it with any of its subsidiary banks, company spokeswoman Laura Wakeley said.

The holding company can however, acquire branches at the subsidiary bank level now for any bank that has been released from an order, Wakeley said.

Fulton Financial reported net income of $35.2 million for this year’s second quarter, down from $45.5 million for the same period in 2017, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said it took a credit-loss provision of $29.1 million, after accounting for tax savings, stemming from a bad loan to former Penn Township energy company Worley & Obetz Inc.

Fulton has roughly $20 billion in assets and approximately 3,700 employees. Based in Lancaster, it operates more than 240 branches in five states.

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Shelby White

Shelby White covers banking and finance, law and Lancaster County for the Central Penn Business Journal. For tips, email her at swhite@cpbj.com.

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