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FCA Slaps £5.8M Fine on Ghana International Bank for AML Lapses

The United Kingdom’s  Financial Conduct Authority (FCA  ) has slapped a £5.8 million monetary penalty on Ghana International Bank Plc (GIB) for lapses in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing controls.

The poor controlling measures were found in GIB’s corresponding banking activities, a service it provides to overseas banks. The lapses allowed the clients of GIB to make payments in different currencies and across borders, the services which are otherwise are not allowed to them.

However, the FCA did not find any evidence of actual  money laundering  .

“Firms are gatekeepers of the financial system and have vital obligations to ensure they are not used to facilitate or perpetrate financial crime,” said FCA’s Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward.

Some Serious Lapses

The British financial market regulator detailed that GIB failed to adequately perform additional checks of overseas banks between 2012 and 2016 when they established a relationship. It also failed to assess if it had checked those overseas banks’ money laundering controls.

Furthermore, GIB failed to undertake an annual review of its overseas bank clients and even did not train staff on the measures of scrutinizing transactions.

“These failings meant that GIB was unable to identify and assess the risks posed by its correspondent bank customers and properly scrutinize transactions worth £9.5 billion processed on their behalf during the relevant period,” Steward added.

The lapses on the part of GIB were discovered by the FCA in December 2016 during a review visit of financial crime controls. Upon the identification of the lapses, GIB cooperate with the British regulator and agreed to suspend the onboarding of new customers which is still in force.

As GIB did not dispute FCA’s findings and eagerly settled, it received a 30 percent discount on the original penalty of more than £8.3 million.
Last year, NatWest faced a £264.8 million penalty from the FCA for failure to comply with the country’s money laundering regulations.

The United Kingdom’s  Financial Conduct Authority (FCA  ) has slapped a £5.8 million monetary penalty on Ghana International Bank Plc (GIB) for lapses in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing controls.

The poor controlling measures were found in GIB’s corresponding banking activities, a service it provides to overseas banks. The lapses allowed the clients of GIB to make payments in different currencies and across borders, the services which are otherwise are not allowed to them.

However, the FCA did not find any evidence of actual  money laundering  .

“Firms are gatekeepers of the financial system and have vital obligations to ensure they are not used to facilitate or perpetrate financial crime,” said FCA’s Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward.

Some Serious Lapses

The British financial market regulator detailed that GIB failed to adequately perform additional checks of overseas banks between 2012 and 2016 when they established a relationship. It also failed to assess if it had checked those overseas banks’ money laundering controls.

Furthermore, GIB failed to undertake an annual review of its overseas bank clients and even did not train staff on the measures of scrutinizing transactions.

“These failings meant that GIB was unable to identify and assess the risks posed by its correspondent bank customers and properly scrutinize transactions worth £9.5 billion processed on their behalf during the relevant period,” Steward added.

The lapses on the part of GIB were discovered by the FCA in December 2016 during a review visit of financial crime controls. Upon the identification of the lapses, GIB cooperate with the British regulator and agreed to suspend the onboarding of new customers which is still in force.

As GIB did not dispute FCA’s findings and eagerly settled, it received a 30 percent discount on the original penalty of more than £8.3 million.
Last year, NatWest faced a £264.8 million penalty from the FCA for failure to comply with the country’s money laundering regulations.

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