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UK watchdog fines Al Rayan Bank for failing to implement money laundering controls

Al Rayan Bank plc was fined 4 million pounds ($4.85 million) by Britain's banking watchdog on Wednesday for failing to implement sufficient measures to prevent money laundering.

Al Rayan permitted money to go through the bank and be utilized inside the United Kingdom between April 1, 2015, and November 30, 2017, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Despite the FCA voicing concerns about the shortcomings of their systems, Al Rayan was aware of these flaws and refused to make the necessary improvements to address them, the FCA said in a statement.

The bank did not contest the conclusions and chose to settle, earning a 30% decrease on the punishment, which would have been 5.7 million pounds otherwise, according to the FCA.

Al Rayan Bank's chief executive, Giles Cunningham, stated that no evidence of money laundering or criminal activity by the bank or its clients was discovered by the FCA, and none of the bank's current management was in a senior position at the time.

"The financial penalty will have no material impact. The  Bank remains well capitalised and will report very strong financial results for 2022," according to a statement from Cunningham. 

According to Cunningham, all issues that were found have been completely fixed.

After the FCA's inspection in 2017, the bank voluntarily decided not to accept any further high-risk clients, according to the regulator.

"This restriction has now been lifted, following improvements to the bank’s systems and controls, but the bank remains subject to some limited restrictions while further improvements are made," according to the FCA

Banks have been under pressure from regulators to implement robust anti-money laundering systems.

A Nigerian bank's UK unit was fined by the FCA on Tuesday for similar failings.



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