NatWest Pleads Guilty to FCA’s Money Laundering Charges
National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest) on Thursday entered into a guilty plea to the criminal money laundering charges brought against it by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
“NatWest accepts that it failed to comply with regulation 8(1) between 7 November 2013 until 23 June 2016; and regulations 8(3) and 14(1) between 8 November 2012 until 23 June 2016 under MLR 2007 in relation to the accounts of a UK incorporated customer,” the regulator stated.
The bank pled guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, but the case has now been referred to the Southwark Crown Court for sentencing. The charges, however, did not name any individual.
A Major British Bank
NatWest was established in 1968 and is one of the major retail and commercial lenders in Britain with reported assets of almost £800 billion.
The British regulator charged the bank last March for failure in conducting the mandatory risk due diligence for several transactions. The charges detailed that the bank had lapses in handling large cash-based deposits made into an account owned by a UK incorporated customer.
In a previous statement, the bank said that it was informed by the regulator about the money laundering lapses in 2017 and was fully cooperating with the investigation.
Natwest became the first bank to face any criminal charges under the FCA’s MLR 2007 that came into effect on 15 December 2007. The purpose of the framework is to prevent the use of the British financial system for money laundering and terrorist financing.
“These regulations require certain firms, including those regulated by the FCA, to ensure they have adequate anti-money laundering systems and controls to prevent money laundering,” the FCA added.
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