British companies fined £300m for money laundering breaches
13 Jan 2020

British companies were fined nearly £300 million for breaching anti-money laundering rules last year, with the UK second only to the US in terms of the number of penalties handed out.

Regulators in the UK imposed 12 money laundering fines last year — about half the number in the US but well ahead of India, the third-placed country, where authorities issued five fines. Standard Chartered Bank was handed the largest UK fine last year of £102 million, from the Financial Conduct Authority.

In a report published today by Encompass, the consultancy firm, analysts found that 58 penalties were imposed for breaches of money laundering rules across 14 jurisdictions last year, with penalties totalling $8.14 billion (£6.23 billion).

The researchers claimed that, globally, 2019 was a record year in terms of both the number of fines imposed and the total sums involved — nearly double the figures for 2018.

US regulators were the most active — handing out 25 penalties totalling $2.29 billion. The total amount of the 12 fines issued in Britain was £297.5 million.

Last April Standard Chartered was fined by both UK and US regulators. The UK watchdog criticised the bank for “shortcomings” in its anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing controls in the Middle East.

By Jonathan Ames, The Times, 13 January 2020

Read more at The Times

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