January 24, 2018 / 7:32 AM / 9 months ago

China's HNA Group says wins compliance clearances from JPMorgan, UBS, other banks

HONG KONG, Jan 24 (Reuters) - China’s HNA Group said on Wednesday several global banks have given it a clean chit after conducting compliance checks, a rare bit of good news for the cash-strapped conglomerate amid questions about its governance and ownership.

HNA said in a statement emailed to Reuters that it has passed know-your-customer (KYC), or internal due-diligence checks, of JPMorgan Chase & Co, UBS Group AG, Credit Suisse and Nomura, among others, in the past few months.

The aviation-to-financial services conglomerate has been facing additional scrutiny and due-diligence checks from banks and regulators following its July announcement that it changed its shareholding structure, while indicating that two previously named shareholders were in fact proxies for company founders.

Several regulators have subsequently blocked or questioned its overseas deals. HNA has also recently struggled for cash, asking some lenders to extend loans and lessors to delay due payments in several cases.

Banks are required to periodically verify the identities of clients through KYC, the most basic of checks. Clearances for HNA on KYC from the four banks would mean they have satisfied themselves about the conglomerate's identity and could pursue fundraisings and deals of HNA and its units, subject to other checks and requirements.

JPMorgan, UBS, Credit Suisse and Nomura declined to comment. (Reporting by Julie Zhu in HONG KONG; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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