Guaranty Trust Bank (UK) has been fined £7,671,800 by the City’s financial markets regulator today over “serious weaknesses” in its systems and controls designed to prevent money laundering.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that the weaknesses “were repeatedly highlighted to GT Bank by internal and external sources, including the FCA,” but despite this, the lender failed to take any action to fix the problems.
The regulator said GT Bank’s conduct was “particularly egregious” because it was not the first time it had been warned over its anti-money laundering controls, with the FCA fining GT Bank £525,000 back in 2013 for similar serious failings.
“GT Bank should have acted quickly to put in place adequate AML controls following its fine in 2013, but it failed to do so,” Mark Steward, the FCA’s enforcement director, said in a statement.
“Firms must protect themselves and those dealing with them from financial crime risks, especially money laundering,” he added.
The regulator said that GT Bank has not disputed the FCA’s findings and agreed to settle the case, and hence qualified for a 30 per cent penalty discount. Without this reduction, the fine would have been £10,959,700.
GT Bank, which is a wholly owned unit of listed Nigerian financial services firm Guaranty Trust Bank Holding Company, was contacted for comment.