UK fines Santander over ‘gaps’ in anti-money laundering controls | Banks News

‘Severe and persistent vulnerabilities’ discovered in the anti-money laundering controls of the UK branch of the Spanish bank.

Britain has fined nearly £108 million ($132 million) against the UK branch of Spanish banking giant Santander after it discovered “serious and persistent loopholes” in the measures. anti-money laundering controls.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a statement on Friday that it had concluded that Santander UK PLC “failed to properly monitor and manage its anti-money laundering (AML) systems” in the the period from December 2012 to October 2017.

The outage affected more than 560,000 enterprise customers.

Santander did not contest the findings and was therefore eligible for a 30 per cent discount, or else the total fine would have amounted to almost £154 million ($188 million).

Mark Steward, FCA’s executive director of market enforcement and oversight, added: “Santander’s mismanagement of their AML system and their inadequate efforts to address the issues have created a threat. serious and prolonged money laundering and financial crime”.

“As part of our commitment to preventing and reducing financial crime, we continue to take action against companies that fail to implement appropriate anti-money laundering controls.”

full cooperation

In response, Santander UK accepted the conclusion and apologized, adding that it had cooperated fully.

Chief Executive Officer Mike Regnier said in a separate statement: “Santander takes his responsibility for financial crime extremely seriously.

“We deeply regret the historical AML-related control issues in our corporate banking division.”

He stressed that Santander UK took action to address the issues after they were identified, but added that their systems should have been more robust.

“We have since made significant changes to address this issue by overhauling our financial crime technology, systems and processes.”

The division currently has more than 4,400 employees focused on financial crime prevention, which is the main focus of the parent company Santander in Spain.

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