The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Standard Bank Plc £7.64 million over failings in its internal controls on money laundering and due diligence related to political clients.
Standard Bank Plc is the UK subsidiary of Standard Bank Group, South Africa’s largest bank.
'Banks are in the front line in the fight against money laundering,’ said Tracy McDermott, FCA director of enforcement.
‘If they accept business from high risk customers they must have effective systems, controls and practices in place to manage that risk. Standard Bank clearly failed in this respect.’
The FCA found that between 2007 and 2011 Standard Bank failed to correctly ensure its money laundering controls were correctly applied to ‘politically exposed persons’.
The bank also provided credit and other services to a ‘significant number’ of corporate clients based in countries recognised as having a ‘higher risk’ of money laundering.
Regulators found that the bank had independently identified its own failures, but had failed to correct them.
A spokesperson for the bank said that since 2010 the bank reviewed all its customer relationships and strengthened its money laundering controls.