The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) a financial watchdog has penalized the UK unit of Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank £7.6 million ($9.3 million) for money laundering.
According to a statement on Tuesday, the FCA said the fine was imposed due to the failures in GTBank’s anti-money laundering systems and controls.
Reuters reports that FCA noted it found “serious weaknesses” in systems aimed at preventing money laundering between October 2014 and July 2019.
“During the relevant period, GT Bank failed to undertake adequate customer risk assessments, often not assessing or documenting the money laundering risks posed by its customers,” the FCA said in a statement.
The watchdog added that the weaknesses were repeatedly highlighted to GTBank by internal and external sources, including the FCA, but GTBank failed to take appropriate action to fix them.
The FCA also disclosed that GTBank has not disputed its findings and agreed to settle, thereby qualifying for a 30% discount on the fine, which would otherwise have amounted to 11 million pounds.
In his reaction, Gbenga Alade, managing director of GTBank UK, said the bank takes its anti-money laundering obligations extremely seriously and noted the FCA’s findings with sincere regret, adding that the FCA found no instances of suspected money laundering.
“We would like to assure all our stakeholders and the general public that necessary steps have been taken to address and resolve the identified gaps,” Alade said in a statement