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FCA accuses NatWest of failing to comply with money laundering rules

FCA accuses NatWest of failing to comply with money laundering rules

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has reportedly initiated criminal proceedings against the NatWest bank for its alleged failure to comply with money laundering regulations during a period that spanned from November 2011 to October 2016.

Sources close to the matter cite that the case is associated with the handling of finances from a single UK incorporated client of the bank.

According to the FCA, this has been the regulator’s first criminal prosecution that had been initiated under the money laundering rules of 2007 and it has also been the first instance of a bank facing any prosecution under the regulations. The authority also stated that no individuals are being indicted as part of these proceedings.

The watchdog’s allegations state that the tremendously large cash deposits, comprising a sum of nearly £365 million, were paid into the accounts of the customer. It is to be noted that almost £264 million of these deposits were in cash. The FCA also alleged that NatWest’s controls and systems failed for the adequate scrutiny and monitoring of this activity.

As per Ewing Law’s Tony Wyatt, an anti-money laundering expert, it was surprising that the amount of cash could have been banked considering the sensitivity that is experienced by even retail and small business customers, when banking any large cash amounts.

Earlier known as the Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, which is a subsidiary of the state-backed NatWest group, is due to appear at the court of the Westminster Magistrates in the next month.

Having been notified of the investigation in 2017, NatWest, which stays 62 per cent owned by the taxpayer after the bail-out of the RBS during the financial crisis, stated that it had been extending its cooperation to the watchdog,

The bank has further added that the NatWest group takes its responsibility to seek the prevention of money laundering by third parties in an extremely serious manner and has made immense multi-year investments in its financial crime controls and systems.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.