An Italian subsidiary of Dutch banking giant ING has been ordered to stop taking on new clients.
In a statement released over the weekend, the Bank of Italy said that ING Groep NV had failed to meet compliance standards related to anti-money laundering (AML) procedures.
The Italian regulatory body said that it had carried out a four-month inspection at the bank which, after ending in January, revealed a number of defects in the firm’s AML policies.
According to Italian outlet Il Sole 24 Ore, Italian prosecutors have opened a money laundering investigation into the bank. A spokesperson for ING told Bloomberg that the bank’s legal team was working to see if in fact such a probe is going to be undertaken.
Leaders at the Dutch firm are likely to be frustrated at the possibility of having to face another money laundering scandal.
Leave one scandal behind, another one arrives
It was only six months ago that the bank had to pay a 775 million euro ($880 million) fine to Dutch authorities after being caught up in a scandal in Russia.
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Investigators found that ING’s Moscow branch helped launder hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit cash from Russia.
Since then, the firm has been in a rush to ensure it can hire a sufficient number of compliance professionals to meet regulatory requirements.
Dutch rival ABN Amro is in a similar position, with the company’s CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen saying the bank needs to onboard approximately 400 new compliance specialists.
ING isn’t the only major European bank to be caught up in a money laundering scandal.
Danske Bank’s now-defunct Estonian division is also facing scrutiny over allegations its employees helped launder approximately $230 billion.
Deutsche Bank has also been caught up in the investigation, having acted as the firm’s correspondent bank.