The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that it has fined EFG Private Bank (EFG) £4.2m for "failing to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective anti-money laundering (AML) controls for high risk customers. The failings were serious and lasted for more than three years." (release).
This is the first fine issued by the FCA since itt became responsibile for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms on 1 April. EFG settled at an early stage, qualifying for a 30 per cent discount on the fine.
Tracey McDermott, the FCA's head of enforcement and financial crime, said:
Banks are the first line of defence to make sure that proceeds of crime do not find their way into the UK. In this case while EFG’s policies looked good on paper, in practice it manifestly failed to ensure that it was addressing its AML risks. Its poor implementation of its agreed policies risked the bank handling the proceeds of crime. These failures merited a strong penalty from the FCA.