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Business & Finance

UK fines Commerzbank over money laundering failures

  • The watchdog noted that Commerzbank previously failed to take "reasonable and effective steps" when it had notified the German lender about the concerns in 2012, 2015 and 2017.
Published June 17, 2020

LONDON: Britain's financial watchdog said Wednesday that it had fined German bank Commerzbank almost £38 million for failing to implement adequate checks to prevent money laundering.

The Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement that the penalty, worth 42.4 million euros or $47.9 million, relates to anti-money laundering failures at Commerzbank's London division over a near five-year period.

The FCA's investigation concluded that Commerzbank did not conduct timely checks on clients, nor address weaknesses in its controls and procedures from October 2012 to September 2017.

The watchdog noted that Commerzbank previously failed to take "reasonable and effective steps" when it had notified the German lender about the concerns in 2012, 2015 and 2017.

"Commerzbank London's failings over several years created a significant risk that financial and other crime might be undetected," said Mark Steward, head of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA.

"Firms should recognise that (anti-money laundering) controls are vitally important to the integrity of the UK financial system," he added.

Commerzbank meanwhile avoided a higher fine of £54 million for co-operating finally.

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