NatWest bank has admitted failing to comply with anti-money laundering laws over “large cash deposits” into a sole customer’s accounts.
The firm pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to three counts under regulation 45(1) of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, after failing to monitor the accounts of a UK incorporated customer.
Banking regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in setting out the charges, previously said that “increasingly large cash deposits” were made into the customer’s account.
It marks the first time the FCA has launched a criminal prosecution under the money laundering regulations and the first time the rules have been used to prosecute a bank.
NatWest chief executive Alison Rose said: “We deeply regret that NatWest failed to adequately monitor and therefore prevent money laundering by one of our customers between 2012 and 2016.
“NatWest has a vital part to play in detecting and preventing financial crime and we take extremely seriously our responsibility to prevent money laundering by third parties.
“In the years since this case, we have invested significant resources and continue to enhance our efforts to effectively combat financial crime. We work tirelessly with colleagues, other banks, industry bodies, law enforcement, regulators, and governments to help find collaborative solutions to this shared challenge.
“These partnerships are crucial to counter the significant and evolving threat of financial crime to society.”