Coutts fined $13.9m for operational failures

27 March 2012

A leading UK bank has been fined £8.75 million ($13.9 million) for its failures in terms of its anti-money laundering (AML) systems, it has emerged.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced yesterday (26 March) that it has issued this seven-figure penalty to Coutts on the basis that it had insufficient controls in place for its high-risk customers.

An investigation conducted by the regulatory body established that these failings were allowed to run for nearly three years, despite the fact they were clearly were "serious" and "systemic".

Coutts' operations were reviewed by the FSA in October 2010 and were found to be not robust enough in terms of its AML policies, meaning that around 75 per cent of its high-risk files were deficient.

Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime, said the severity of the fine was down to the fact the bank's failings were "significant, widespread and unacceptable".

"Its conduct fell well below the standards we expect," she added.

By Gary Cooper

Become a bobsguide member to access the following

1. Unrestricted access to bobsguide
2. Send a proposal request
3. Insights delivered daily to your inbox
4. Career development