“The failings at Coutts were serious, systemic and were allowed to persist for almost three years. They resulted in an unacceptable risk of Coutts handling the proceeds of crime.”
The Financial Services Authority has today fined Coutts £8.75 million for failing to establish and maintain effective anti-money laundering systems and control in relation to high risk customers, including politically exposed persons (PEPs).
From the FSA press release:
“The FSA identified deficiencies in nearly three quarters of the PEP and high risk customer files reviewed. Specifically, in one or more of each inadequate file Coutts failed to:
(i) gather sufficient information to establish the source of wealth and source of funds of its prospective PEP and other high risk customers;
(ii) identify and/or assess adverse intelligence about prospective and existing high risk customers properly and take appropriate steps in relation to such intelligence;
(iii) keep the information held on its existing PEP and other high risk customers up-to-date; and
(iv) scrutinise transactions made through PEP and other high risk customer accounts appropriately.”
The FSA’s Final Notice for Coutts is here.
Politically exposed persons are individuals whose prominent position in public life may make them vulnerable to corruption.
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