January 11, 2023
The Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom has slammed the country’s subsidiary of Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank with $13.3 million (N6 billion) in fines on allegations that the bank’s anti-money-laundering systems and controls were not appropriately monitored.
The FCA disclosed this in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday, stating that the bank was subject to disciplinary action for serious flaws in its anti-money laundering (AML) systems and controls between October 2014 and July 2019.
According to the financial watchdog, the bank failed to “undertake adequate customer risk assessments, often not assessing or documenting the money laundering risks posed by its customers.”
It went on to say that the bank had not performed the necessary standards of customer transaction and business relationship oversight.
“These weaknesses were repeatedly highlighted to GT Bank by internal and external sources, including the FCA, but despite this, GT Bank failed to take appropriate action to fix them,” the statement by the financial watchdog said.
GT Bank, according to the watchdog, has not contested the conclusions and agreed to settle, prompting the regulators to give a 30 percent discount on the fine. This meant that the bank will now pay $9.3 million for the infractions.
The managing director of GT Bank UK, Gbenga Alade, stated that the bank takes its anti-money laundering responsibilities very seriously and expressed regret over the FCA’s findings, noting that the FCA found no indications of probable money laundering.