On the 15th of November 2019, the European Central Bank decided to revoke the banking license of Meinl Bank with immediate effect, following an earlier decision of the management of the bank to withdraw from the banking business. Meinl Bank AG changed its name in July 2019 into Anglo Austrian AAB Bank AG, whilst strengthening internal compliance and AML safeguards.
The Vienna based financial institution was founded in 1923, employs 80 staff members and the total assets of the bank are estimated at 275 million Euro. Depositors are requested to provide the bank with their transfer information to retrieve their account balance and securities. In a statement on the banks website, the bank claims to have a solid capital base.
The termination of the bank’s license comes after the bank was fined by the Austrian regulator earlier in 2019 for ‘breaches of due diligence requirements for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing’, and seems part of a larger clean up operation of the European banking sector after challenges in AML compliance were exposed. Financial institutions in Cyprus, Malta, Latvia, and now Austria were part of this clean-up operation, and were shut down by their respective regulatory authority in recent years. Decisions by the ECB to withdraw a banking license can be challenged. The bank evaluates the possible legal steps against the decision.