Bank Fined on Boycott Charges

The Commerce Department announced this week that it was imposing a $103,000 fine on American Express Bank, Ltd., for allegedly complying with terms of the Arab boycott of Israel.

The New York-based bank, a subsidiary of the American Express Co., agreed to pay the fine but did not admit or deny that it had violated U.S. antiboycott laws.

The Commerce Department charged the bank Monday with having committed 39 alleged violations of the Export Administration Act and Regulations between August 1988 and January 1992.

Among the alleged violations were 13 allegations that the bank provided Lebanon and Oman with information about business relationships with Israel, the Commerce Department said.

Also, the department alleged that on 25 occasions, the bank did not report receiving boycott-related requests from Kuwait.

The case “illustrates the importance of major banks being concerned about and vigilant against boycott-related activities,” William Skidmore, director of the Commerce Department’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance, said in a statement.

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