The lending institution will also pay a fee of $5.7 million.
Bank of England National Westminster (NatWest) has been fined £264.8 million ($350.28 million) for money laundering, The Guardian reported.
The London District Court decision also required the bank to pay a fee of £4.3 million ($5.7 million) and turn over to the authorities £460 thousand ($608 thousand) seized from the client.
“…Although the Bank is not involved in money laundering at all, it is functionally important to the process. Without the bank and its faults, money cannot be laundered effectively,” Judge Cockerill said at the Royal Court of Southwark.
We will remind you, NatWest pleaded guilty to money laundering in October this year. The case involved maintaining the accounts of the jewelry store Fowler Oldfield from 2013 to 2016. After a police raid, it was revealed that the company was a center for a money laundering business.
The projected turnover for NatWest clients is £15 million per year. However, over 5 years the company has deposited £365 million in the bank, of which £264 million – cash. Bank representatives said in court that they “failed to detect and prevent money laundering in a timely manner.”
NatWest has carried out “a number of glitches in systems to track and verify suspicious transactions,” Mark Steward, executive director of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), told media. According to him, a technical failure occurred in the automated system, which led to the recognition of cash by check.
11 people also pleaded guilty in the case and 3 couriers, who worked with cash, media reported. Another 13 people are awaiting sentencing. According to The WallStreetJournal, citing court records, the money “arrived at the bank in a black trash bag and smelled like mildew.”
NatWest told the WSJ that the bank will pay a penalty from existing reserves and add a small additional reserve in the fourth quarter of 2021. The credit institution’s operating profit for the 3rd quarter of 2021 before tax amounted to £1.1 billion, according to the organization’s report.
National Westminster Bank was founded in 1968 and has been 55% state-owned since 2008. In October, NatWest acquired RoosterMoney, an allowance management app.
Keep in mind that the FCA is investigating Monzo. Neobank is also suspected of violating anti-money laundering laws, the startup said in its report.
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