April 16, 2011 / 5:14 AM / 8 years ago

Regulators halt U.S. lending by Venezuelan state bank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve Board said on Friday it imposed a lending halt and civil penalties of $1.8 million against Venezuelan state-owned Banco Industrial de Venezuela after repeated examinations of its U.S. operations found deficiencies.

The cease-and-desist order, jointly issued with state bank supervisors in New York and Florida, restricts Banco Industrial from making new loans or taking on new customers without the regulators’ approval.

“The order is designed to address deficiencies revealed in repeated examinations of the agencies by the Federal Reserve and the state supervisors. The order also addresses issues relating to BIV’s financial condition and the lack of audited financial statements,” the Fed said in a statement.

The Fed said that Caracas-based Banco Industrial de Venezuela will be required to submit acceptable plans to make a number of improvements at its agencies in New York in Miami, including in management and home office oversight, internal and operational controls, asset quality, investment securities procedures, and internal audit.

Banco Industrial de Venezuela agreed in a statement that it would file audited financial results for 2010 and 2011.

“This is just one more step in our actions to overcome past problems, in line with the restructuring of BIV, that will let it fully meet its core mission to support the establishment and development of the country’s basic industries,” bank president Rodolfo Aletti said in the statement.

“We are committed to the full reconstruction of BIV and our branches in the United States are a very important part of the institution.”

Venezuelan authorities had seized control of Banco Industrial de Venezuela in May 2009. The “intervention” was lifted in January, the Fed said.

Reporting by David Lawder in Washington and Daniel Wallis in Caracas; Editing by Vicki Allen

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