Natwest pleads guilty to money laundering offences

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NatWest has pleaded guilty to three counts of failure to comply with anti-money laundering law.

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In a hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, state-backed bank chief executive Alison Rose said that NatWest “failed to adequately monitor and therefore prevent money laundering by one of our customers between 2012 and 2016. “.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) alleged that the bank failed to monitor suspicious activity by a customer who deposited £264m, including £365m in cash, over a five-year period.


The banking regulator had earlier said that “increasingly large cash deposits” were made in the account of a single customer.

This is the first time the FCA has criminally prosecuted under Rule 45(1) of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, and the first time the rules have been used to prosecute a bank.

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Ms Rose said: “NatWest has an important role in detecting and preventing financial crime and we take our responsibility to prevent money laundering by third parties very seriously.

“In the years since this case, we have invested significant resources and continued to increase our efforts to effectively combat financial crime.

“We work tirelessly with partners, other banks, industry bodies, law enforcement, regulators and governments to help find collaborative solutions to this shared challenge.

“These partnerships are critical to combating the significant and emerging threat of financial crime to society.”

In July, the government said it intended to sell part of its stake in NatWest. At the time of the announcement, UK Government Investments (UKGI) held 54.7 per cent of the banking group.


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