THE Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulator has fined Coutts - the exclusive private bank owned by Royal Bank of Scotland - £8.75m for failings in its anti-money laundering controls systems.
In October 2010, the FSA visited Coutts – whose chief executive is Rory Tapner as part of its thematic review into banks' management of high money-laundering risk situations.
Following that visit, the FSA's investigation identified that Coutts did not apply robust controls when starting relationships with high risk customers and did not consistently apply appropriate monitoring in that area.
"Coutts' failings were significant, widespread and unacceptable. Its conduct fell well below the standards we expect and the size of the financial penalty demonstrates how seriously we view its failures," said Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime, at the FSA.
Coutts, which was founded by Thomas Coutts in the 18th century, is one of Britain's best-known private banks. Its clients have included Queen Elizabeth II, sports stars and pop idols.
City A.M. Reporter