Santander has been fined for repeated failures to fight money laundering

Santander UK Plc has been fined £107.7m ($132m) by the UK Financial Services Authority for repeated failures to combat money laundering.

The bank failed to ensure it had adequate oversight and oversight of its business customers and missed hundreds of millions of suspicious funds channeled through accounts between 2012 and 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement on Friday.

Santander fully cooperated with the FCA investigation and accepted the regulator’s findings in exchange for a 30 per cent rebate on the fine.

“Santander’s poor management of its anti-money laundering systems and its inadequate attempts to address the issues have created a persistent and serious risk of money laundering and financial crime,” said Mark Steward, FCA’s Executive Director for Enforcement and Markets Supervision.

The fine is the latest example of a concerted effort by the regulator to be tougher. It has previously fined HSBC Holdings Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and NatWest Group Plc a combined £431m for poor management of their AML systems.

“We deeply regret the historical control issues related to anti-money laundering,” Santander UK chief executive officer Mike Regnier said in a statement. “We have since made significant changes to address this by overhauling our financial crime technology, systems and processes.”

A business client’s account recorded around £269m over a period of almost four years, despite being opened on the basis of just £5000 in monthly sales. Even when there was a suspicion that the account was conducting criminal funds, it was never closed.

Nearly a year ago, the FCA fined NatWest for the offense of failing to prevent money laundering in a case that revealed details of hundreds of thousands of pounds sent by courier in black bin bags and branch safes overflowing with banknotes. Santander has been fined for repeated failures to fight money laundering

Fry Electronics Team

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