The FCA civil regulatory findings found that Santander UK failed to monitor its AML systems, which significantly impacted more than 560,000 business customers, and has also failed to monitor the customers’ accounts
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Santander UK £107.8m for repeated serious lapses in its anti-money laundering (AML) controls related to its Business Banking business.
According to the financial watchdog, the bank failed to monitor its AML systems, which impacted more than 560,000 business customers.
The lender also failed to monitor the movement of money in its customers’ accounts.
The FCA probe was focused on the identification, assessment, and management of higher-risk customers within the Business Banking division, including Money Services Businesses.
FCA enforcement and market oversight executive director Mark Steward said: “Santander’s poor management of their anti-money laundering systems and their inadequate attempts to address the problems created a prolonged and severe risk of money laundering and financial crime.
“As part of our commitment to prevent and reduce financial crime, we continue to take action against firms which fail to operate proper anti-money laundering controls.”
Santander UK accepted the FCA’s civil regulatory findings related to AML controls, between December 2012 and October 2017.
The bank said that it has fully co-operated with the FCA investigation, and has agreed to pay the penalty.
The fine is calculated based on a proportion of the revenues from its Business Banking division and includes a 30% discount for early settlement.
The investigation is now completed, and no further action is expected by the FCA or any other authority related to this matter, said Santander UK.
Santander UK chief executive officer Mike Regnier said: “We are very sorry for the historical Anti-Money Laundering (AML) related controls issues in our Business Banking division between 2012-17 highlighted in the FCA’s findings.
“While we took action to address our AML issues once they were identified, we accept that our AML framework at the time should have been stronger.
“We have since made significant changes to address this by overhauling our financial crime technology, systems, and processes.”