Britain Cracks Down On Nigerian Bank Over Money Laundering Failures

Britain has fined the UK subsidiary of Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank 7.6 million pounds for what it says are more failures in the bank’s anti-money-laundering systems and procedures.

The Financial Conduct Authority in a statement on Tuesday shared that “these deficiencies were frequently brought to GT Bank’s attention by internal and external sources, including the FCA, but GT Bank failed to take appropriate action to rectify them.”

The statement also showed that GT bank had not contested the conclusions and accepted to settle, making it qualified for a 30% discount on the fine, which has been reduced from the initial 10.96 million pounds ($13.3m).

“GT Bank’s conduct is particularly egregious as this is not the first time that the bank has faced enforcement action about its AML controls,” the statement further read.

Meanwhile, Gbenga Alade, managing director of GT Bank UK, said the bank takes its anti-money laundering obligations extremely seriously and noted the FCA’s findings with sincere regret, adding that the FCA found no instances of suspected money laundering.

Note that this is not the first time the bank has been fined for breaking the regulations on money laundering. In August 2013, the FCA fined the bank 525,000 pounds ($627,323) for laxities in handling money laundering.

Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s head of enforcement said banks were at the frontline in ensuring the proceeds of crime “do not enter the UK financial system.” The processing of criminal funds was put at an intolerable risk as a result of the substantial and systemic shortcomings of GTB.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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