Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

RBS Fined after Push on 'Laundering' Rules

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

RBS Fined after Push on 'Laundering' Rules

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN PRYNN

ROYAL Bank of Scotland has been fined pound sterling750,000 for failing to carry out basic checks on customers to stop them laundering money through the the British banking system.

The fine, the first of its kind imposed by the Financial Services Authority, is been seen as a warning shot to the entire banking industry to get its act together.

The FSA inquiry found that the Royal Bank, led by chief executive Fred Goodwin, could not provide evidence that it carried out even the most basic checks when customers asked to open bank accounts in early 2002. In some cases the bank had not asked for basic proof of ID such as a valid passport or driver's licence.

A spokesman for the FSA said the failure to carry out these " remarkably simple" checks risked "letting anyone into the financial system including money launderers and terrorists". Carol Sergeant, managing director of the FSA, said: "This fine demonstrates that the FSA takes antimoney laundering compliance very seriously indeed. …

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