04 Mar 2021
ING Group’s unit in France will pay €3 million to address anti-money laundering (AML) and counterterrorism financing compliance shortcomings identified by the country’s prudential regulator.
The banking group, which acknowledged the fine in a statement Tuesday, said the enforcement action stemmed from a 2018 inspection by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR). ING has since implemented “all the necessary corrective measures to strengthen its processes and management of compliance risks,” it said.
The fine follows a €30-million monetary penalty against ING by Italian authorities in February 2020 for AML lapses and a €775-million settlement in September 2018 with the Dutch Public Prosecution Service for compliance violations related to the bank’s customer due diligence and client onboarding controls.
Last year, the bank became the subject of multiple news reports based on leaked data from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Intelligence Unit. The FinCEN Files stories cited leaked suspicious activity reports linking ING Bank to Russian money laundering in the Netherlands, Cyprus, Latvia, Ukraine and Poland.
While the FinCEN Files stories indicated that illicit transactions were likely processed by ING, they did not suggest that the bank failed to meet its compliance obligations to identify and report suspected money laundering.
In November, ING Belgium joined KBC Bank, Belfius Bank and Insurance and BNP Paribas Fortis in requesting that Belgian lawmakers pass legislation to allow them to set up a secure system for sharing data related to suspected money laundering and suspicious entities.
“In the context of significantly increased attention on the prevention of financial economic crime which has been reported in the past, ING has experienced heightened scrutiny from authorities in various countries,” the banking group said in Tuesday’s statement.
“The measures taken at ING in France are in line with ING’s efforts since 2017 to further enhance the management of compliance risks and embed stronger awareness across the whole organisation,” it said.
Read ING’s statement here
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