Monday 15 March 2021 9:55 am

ABN Amro shares drop as concerns over size of money laundering fine grow

ABN Amro shares were down by 4 per cent this morning following reports that the Dutch bank could face a much higher-than-expected fine in an ongoing money laundering investigation.

The bank’s annual report, published last week, gave a detailed account of a pending investigation in its home market, making it clear the probe is much broader than expected, according to a Reuters report this morning.

The investigation, which was first launched in September 2019, has been expanded and the bank is now also suspected of “culpable money laundering.”

Previously, the allegations had reportedly been limited to ABN failing to spot accounts involved in money laundering, failing to end relations with suspicious clients and failing to report such transactions to the relevant authorities.

A spokesman for ABN Amro reportedly said the bank is cooperating with the prosecuting team, but declined to provide any further details.

Read more: Dutch bank ABN Amro to cut 3,000 jobs

The new allegation could mean that the bank was aware of money laundering activities but did not act upon it, a source close to the matter told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, which was the first to report the new phrasing in ABN ‘s annual report on Monday.

This could lead to a higher fine for the bank, the Reuters report stressed, and could raise the possibility of bank executives being held responsible individually for money laundering.

“The fine could be bigger than what the market had previously expected, since it means that they may have found something more on this,” KBC Securities analyst Jason Kalamboussis told Reuters.

“The investigation could also last longer, with likely no quick outcome.”

Read more: Top official warns of ‘disturbing’ amount of Russian money laundering in UK