Guaranty Trust Bank UK Limited (GTBank UK) has reached settlement with the FCA, accepting findings in relation to historical Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls in its operations in the period October 2014 to July 2019.
The British financial watchdog, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), fined the British subsidiary of Nigeria’s GTBank £7.6 million for failures in the bank’s anti-money laundering systems and controls relating to events that took place between October 2014 and July 2019.
“GTBank’s conduct is particularly egregious as this is not the first time that the bank has faced enforcement action in relation to its AML controls,” the FCA added.
The Bank, yesterday, however stated that it has cooperated fully with the FCA investigation and has agreed with the penalty, which has been calculated by reference to a proportion of the revenues of GTBank Britain over the relevant period and includes a 30 per cent discount for early settlement.
The FCA’s investigation focused on GTBank UK’s AML controls and steps taken by GTBank Britain to remediate these to ensure they operated in line with the relevant requirements. The findings are final, and no further action is anticipated in respect of this matter. The FCA acknowledged in its findings that GTBank UK has spent considerable time and resources to bring its AML standards up to the required level.
Commenting on the issue, Managing Director of GTBank UK, Mr. Gbenga Alade, said: “As a responsible financial services institution that is committed to best practices, GTBank UK takes its AML obligations extremely serious. We note with sincere regret the FCA’s findings regarding AML control gaps in our operations in the past and we are very sorry for this.”
He further stated; “We would like to assure all our stakeholders and the general public that necessary steps have been taken to address and resolve the identified gaps. Whilst there was no direct customer impairment arising from the period under review [and the FCA’s findings do not include any instances of suspected money laundering], we have since reinforced our AML control framework and implemented changes in our AML processes in line with best practice with a view to ensuring that the highest standards are maintained in our operations.”