US broker fined by bourse regulator closes Dubai branch

E*Trade Financial Corp closes Dubai branch after breaching anti-money laundering controls
US broker fined by bourse regulator closes Dubai branch
An Emirati man follows the stock market activity at the Dubai Financial Market in the Gulf emirate on December 14, 2009. Dubais stock market rose 10.13 percent in early trade after the government said it will pay 4.1 billion dollars to cover maturing Islamic bonds issued by its Nakheel property developer. (AFP/Getty Images)
By Reuters
Tue 02 Aug 2011 06:26 PM

E*Trade Financial Corp is closing its Dubai branch, just months after it was fined in the emirate for breaching anti-money laundering controls, the online US broker said on Tuesday.

"We made a business decision to close the branch in Dubai as the current and projected opportunity does not support the investment required to maintain a local branch," Susan Hickey, E*Trade's senior vice-president for corporate communications told Reuters in an e-mailed statement.

"We have fewer than 400 customer accounts in Dubai. We have 2.7 million brokerage accounts globally so its immaterial to our business," she said.

It has not yet been decided when the firm's office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) would close, but she added it was working towards a "smooth transition".

In May the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which is the regulator for the Nasdaq Dubai bourse, said it fined E*Trade $200,000 for breaching anti-money laundering controls.

The regulator fined the firm for failing to obtain sufficient evidence of its clients' source of wealth and for not providing adequate address details for some of its clients.

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