UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has imposed a fine of £5,829,900 ($7.16m) on Ghana International Bank Plc (GIB) for deficiencies in the AML/CFT procedures related to its correspondent banking activities.
GIB provided correspondent banking services to overseas banks, which allowed it to offer services such as payments in different currencies and overseas payments. This service understandably has a higher ML/TF risk. The FCA requires banks to conduct extra checks on their correspondent banking customers to reduce this risk.
However, during 2012-16, GIB did not adequately conduct these additional checks when working with the overseas banks. It did not sufficiently assess the overseas banks’ AML controls. The bank also failed to annually review the information related to these overseas banks. Furthermore, the bank’s staff lacked appropriate training on how transaction monitoring.
The FCA did not find any evidence of actual money laundering, but the bank’s AML failings did increase the risk significantly. Since GIB agreed to settle as soon as possible without any dispute, it received a 30% discount, bringing its penalty down from £8,328,500 ($10.23m).
Source: Financial Conduct Authority, UK