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Financials

UPDATE 1-Germany orders Greece's Piraeus Bank to step up money laundering prevention

(Updates with Piraeus statement, BaFin no comment)

FRANKFURT, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin has ordered the Frankfurt branch of Greek lender Piraeus Bank to take measures to prevent money laundering and terror financing.

BaFin disclosed the order on Wednesday, which was made on Jan. 13. The statement offered no further detail.

Piraeus Bank is one of Greece’s four largest banks. Its main shareholder is bank rescue fund HFSF (Hellenic Financial Stability Fund) with a 61% stake.

“This is a known issue of upgrading the systems of our branch in Frankfurt,” an official at Piraeus Bank’s Athens headquarters said, declining to be named.

“It has been agreed with German authorities that the upgrade will take place within the first half of this year,” the official said.

BaFin declined to comment further.

Reporting by Tom Sims in Frankfurt and Georgiopoulos in Athens; editing by Edmund Blair and Jason Neely

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