Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina in Newton has been hit with an enforcement action related to its compliance with anti-money-laundering laws.

The $1 billion-asset company was issued the consent order by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks. The order requires Peoples to: strengthen its board's oversight of Bank Secrecy Act compliance; adopt a new AML/BSA compliance program; appoint a qualified BSA officer; complete a BSA risk assessment; and take additional steps.

The regulators did not disclose in the consent order their specific concerns with Peoples Bancorp's compliance. The consent order was issued Aug. 31, and it was made public in Peoples' 10-Q, filed on Nov. 6 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"The bank continues to make progress in addressing the issues identified in the order and expects that it will be able to undertake and implement all required actions within the time period specified," Peoples Bancorp said in the 10-Q.

Peoples Bancorp, the parent of Peoples Bank, said it will be restricted from making acquisitions, paying dividends and making other strategic moves until the consent order is lifted.

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