By Stelios Orphanides
A US appeals court rejected the application of the owners of Tanzania’s FBME Bank for a rehearing of their rejected appeal on Tuesday.
“Upon consideration of the appellant’s petition for panel rehearing filed on October 25, 2017, it is ordered that the petition be denied,” the United States Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia said.
In April, the bank and the owners of FBME challenged the decision of the court of first instance not to overthrow the decision of the Finance Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the US Treasury, to ban the lender from transacting in dollars. In early October, the Bank of Tanzania, which five months earlier revoked the bank’s licence and placed it under liquidation, instructed FBME Bank to withdraw from the appeal, leaving FBME Ltd, the Cayman Islands-based holding company as the sole appellant.
Days later, a lawyer of FBME informed the appeals court that the Cayman company had been struck off the company register and could so not sue or be sued. The court dismissed the appeal on October 24 as FBME Ltd had no capacity to sue. The owners of FBME informed the court that they reinstated the company the following day and requested the rehearing.
FinCEN blacklisted FBME Bank after it described it as a financial institution of primarily money laundering concern. The lender maintained a branch in Cyprus which had its licence revoked by the Central Bank of Cyprus almost two years ago.