Britain’s NatWest bank has to pay a fine of 265 million pounds (more than 310 million euros) in a money laundering case. In addition, a criminal gang deposited 264 million euros in cash in the accounts of a client of the bank, a jeweler.
This was learned from the FCA. The bank had pleaded guilty in early October in the case, which involved millions of pounds of cash deposited in customer accounts between 2012 and 2016. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had taken to court in 2017 for failing to take precautions to mitigate money laundering risks . Concretely, it is about the huge sums that a criminal gang transferred to the accounts of a jeweler. It related to a total of 365 million pounds, including 264 million euros in cash.
pockets full of money
According to Reuters, deposits were made in 50 different banking branches, and at least one branch received more than 40 million pounds. Couriers often brought bags full of money. One person even carried so much money – £700,000 – in trash bags that he tore it up, forcing all the money in the bank to turn it into burlap bags.
The regulator believes that the bank’s control mechanisms were not working properly and that NatWest was not attentive enough to the activities on its accounts. The FCA has not charged anyone in the case.
This was the first time the banking regulator had invoked the 2007 law to go to court. This law obliges companies to put in place sound oversight mechanisms to combat money laundering.
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