Ghana International Bank fined £5.8m by UK regulator

ghana international bank fined 5 8m by uk regulator
Financial Conduct

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Ghana International Bank (GHIB) £5.8 million ($7.1 million) for failings in its anti-money laundering controls.

The FCA said the bank provided correspondent banking services to other lenders, allowing them to provide products and payment services they would otherwise be unable to provide.

Between January 2012 and December 2016, the bank did not adequately perform the additional anti-money laundering checks required, the FCA said.

“No evidence of actual money laundering was detected, though the risk of money laundering as a result of these deficient systems was significant,” the FCA statement said, adding that the bank has not disputed the findings and has agreed to settle early.

GHIB said that since the period of investigation it has appointed a completely new board and new management, with its anti-money laundering systems significantly strengthened.

In December 2016, the FCA visited GIB to review its financial crime controls. As a result of concerns identified during this visit, GIB voluntarily agreed not to take on new customers. This restriction remains in place. GIB continues to work with the FCA and an independent expert to improve its financial crime controls.

Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said ‘firms are gatekeepers of the financial system and have vital obligations to ensure they are not used to facilitate or perpetrate financial crime. These failings meant that GIB was unable to identify and assess the risks posed by its correspondent bank customers and properly scrutinise transactions worth £9.5 billion processed on their behalf during the relevant period. Ensuring firms strengthen their anti-money laundering controls and enforcing failures to comply remain high priorities for the FCA.”

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