Santander has been fined more than £107m by the Financial Conduct Authority for anti-money laundering failures.
The banking giant will have to pay £107,793,300 to the watchdog after it was found to have “serious and persistent gaps” stopping the scourge.
FCA found that between 31 December 2012 and 18 October 2017, it didn’t properly oversee and manage its systems to prevent money laundering, which impacted oversight of over 560,000 business customers.
It also found Santander had “ineffective systems” to verify information given by customers and didn’t properly monitor cash that they told them would be going through their accounts.
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said:
“Santander’s poor management of their anti-money laundering systems and their inadequate attempts to address the problems created a prolonged and severe risk of money laundering and financial crime.
“As part of our commitment to prevent and reduce financial crime, we continue to take action against firms which fail to operate proper anti-money laundering controls.”
The FAC gave examples of such money laundering not being caught, including with a small translation firm with expected deposits of £5,000, receiving millions before transferring accounts.
Santander said it accepted the findings and had fully co-operated with the investigation.
Its chief executive Officer, Mike Regnier, said “Santander takes its responsibilities regarding financial crime extremely seriously.”
“We are very sorry for the historical AML related controls issues in our Business Banking division between 2012-17 highlighted in the FCA’s findings.”
“While we took action to address our AML issues once they were identified, we accept that our AML framework at the time should have been stronger. We have since made significant changes to address this by overhauling our financial crime technology, systems and processes. Today over 4,400 staff are focused on preventing financial crime and we continue to invest to meet our responsibilities and keep our customers and communities safe.”