NatWest has pleaded guilty to failing to prevent alleged money laundering of nearly £400,000,000.
It comes after the financial watchdog launched criminal action against the bank in March, in the first case of its kind.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) claims deposits were made into a UK NatWest account totalling £365m between 2011 and 2016 – £264m of which was in cash.
The FCA alleges NatWest’s systems and controls failed to adequately monitor and scrutinise this activity.
The client at the centre of the case is collapsed Bradford-based gold dealership Fowler Oldfield, which was shut down following a police raid in 2016, according to Reuters.
The charges are linked to a separate case against 13 individuals based in cities across the country.
NatWest admitted failing to comply wit money laundering rules relating to ‘large cash deposits’ at Westminster Magistrates Court this morning.
‘We deeply regret that NatWest failed to adequately monitor and therefore prevent money laundering by one of our customers between 2012 and 2016,’ NatWest CEO Alison Rose said in a statement.
‘NatWest has a vital part to play in detecting and preventing financial crime and we take extremely seriously our responsibility to prevent money laundering by third parties.
‘In the years since this case, we have invested significant resources and continue to enhance our efforts to effectively combat financial crime.
‘We work tirelessly with colleagues, other banks, industry bodies, law enforcement, regulators, and governments to help find collaborative solutions to this shared challenge.
‘These partnerships are crucial to counter the significant and evolving threat of financial crime to society.’
The FCA brought in new money laundering regulations in 2007.
The case is the first time the they have used the rules to prosecute a bank.
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