FSA Fined Coutts & Co for Control Failings

26 Mar

There are clearly fundamental flaws within many banking institutions and Coutts is the latest to suffer a reprimand for their tardy and less than suitable attitude.

The FSA has fined Coutts & Co £8.75 Million for anti-money laundering control failings. These failings included taking reasonable care to maintain effective anti-money laundering systems and controls. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said the failings at Coutts were ‘serious, systemic’, and led to an ‘unacceptable risk’. Tracey McDermott (acting director of enforcement and financial crime) at the FSA, said: ‘Coutts’ failings were significant, widespread and unacceptable. Its conduct fell well below the standards we expect and the size of the financial penalty demonstrates how seriously we view its failures.’

In October 2010, the FSA started an investigation following a routine visit and found a lack of robust controls and consistent monitoring. A sample of 103 files of politically exposed persons were examined and 71% had deficiencies (i.e. in 73 or the 103 files examined).

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