A United Kingdom court has fined National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest) a total of almost £264.8 million for its failure to comply with the country’s money laundering regulations.

The sentencing by the Southwark Crown Court came after the bank pled guilty in October to the charges for three severe offenses brought against it by the  Financial Conduct Authority (FCA  ).

According to the charges, NatWest failed to properly monitor the activities of a commercial customer between 8 November 2012 to 23 June 2016. Though the bank deposited around £264 million as cash for the customer, it did not take any action despite suspicions of money laundering.

“...it must be borne in mind that although in no way complicit in the  money laundering  which took place, the Bank was functionally vital. Without the Bank, and without the Bank’s failures, the money could not be effectively laundered,” the judge said in the sentencing.

A Critical Money Laundering Case

NatWest was established in 1968 and is one of the major retail and commercial lenders in Britain with reported assets of almost £800 billion. It is the first bank in the country to face any criminal charges under the FCA’s MLR 2007 that came into effect on 15 December 2007.

FCA’s Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward said: “NatWest is responsible for a catalog of failures in the way it monitored and scrutinized transactions that were self-evidently suspicious. Combined with serious systems failures, like the treatment of cash deposits as cheques, these failures created an open door for money laundering.”

“Anti-money laundering controls are a vital part of the fight against serious crime, like drug trafficking, and such failures are intolerable ones that let down the whole community, which, in this case, justified the FCA’s first criminal prosecution under the Money Laundering Regulations.”

Furthermore, eleven more people related to cash deposits pled guilty to the charges brought by the UK police in a separate investigation related to this NatWest-linked money laundering case, while three other cash couriers were charged.

A United Kingdom court has fined National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest) a total of almost £264.8 million for its failure to comply with the country’s money laundering regulations.

The sentencing by the Southwark Crown Court came after the bank pled guilty in October to the charges for three severe offenses brought against it by the  Financial Conduct Authority (FCA  ).

According to the charges, NatWest failed to properly monitor the activities of a commercial customer between 8 November 2012 to 23 June 2016. Though the bank deposited around £264 million as cash for the customer, it did not take any action despite suspicions of money laundering.

“...it must be borne in mind that although in no way complicit in the  money laundering  which took place, the Bank was functionally vital. Without the Bank, and without the Bank’s failures, the money could not be effectively laundered,” the judge said in the sentencing.

A Critical Money Laundering Case

NatWest was established in 1968 and is one of the major retail and commercial lenders in Britain with reported assets of almost £800 billion. It is the first bank in the country to face any criminal charges under the FCA’s MLR 2007 that came into effect on 15 December 2007.

FCA’s Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward said: “NatWest is responsible for a catalog of failures in the way it monitored and scrutinized transactions that were self-evidently suspicious. Combined with serious systems failures, like the treatment of cash deposits as cheques, these failures created an open door for money laundering.”

“Anti-money laundering controls are a vital part of the fight against serious crime, like drug trafficking, and such failures are intolerable ones that let down the whole community, which, in this case, justified the FCA’s first criminal prosecution under the Money Laundering Regulations.”

Furthermore, eleven more people related to cash deposits pled guilty to the charges brought by the UK police in a separate investigation related to this NatWest-linked money laundering case, while three other cash couriers were charged.