FCA has fined Guaranty Trust Bank (UK) Limited £525,000 for failings in anti-money laundering (AML) systems and controls. It visited the bank, a UK-authorised subsidiary of a Nigerian bank, as part of a thematic review. It found a number of failings which had occurred over the bank's first two years of operations. 70% of the bank's retail customers were high risk, largely because of where they lived. FCA's review found:
- no evidence that the money laundering risk assessment the bank's procedures required was carried out in the vast majority of files it reviewed;
- most files on Politically Exposed Person (PEP) clients were not signed off at an appropriately senior level;
- nearly half the files did not show, adequately or at all, the purpose and nature of the customer's relationship with the bank;
- the bank did not follow up information it received on source of customer funds;
- the bank did not record the results of sanction screening results unless there was a match, and many files were opened some time before the screening took place; and
- a failure to monitor relationships enough or adequately.
The fine would have been larger, but the bank cooperated with the investigation and benefited from a 30% discount. (Source: FCA Fines Again for AML Breaches)