The Financial Conduct Authority, FCA, Britain’s financial services regulator, has fined the UK subsidiary of the Guaranty Trust Bank $815,000 (about N1.2 billion) for failing to avert potential money-laundering risks.
The bank was accused of not screening customers against sanction lists and failing to establish the purpose of the accounts being opened in their London branch or review the activity of “high risk” accounts.
FCA’s director of enforcement, Tracey McDermott, stressed that banks were at the front line in ensuring that proceeds of crime do not enter the UK financial system.
“GT Bank’s failures were serious and systemic and resulted in an unacceptable risk of handling the proceeds of crime,” she said.
In its reaction, however, the bank conceded that there were lapses early in its set up in Britain, but maintained that those lapses had since been addressed.
GT Bank said in a statement that: “We have fully co-operated with the FCA in its investigation and we have accepted the findings.”