Natwest is banking on much lower fine than expected for its involvement in money laundering case
Natwest is banking on a much lower fine than expected for its involvement in a money laundering case.
The lender pleaded guilty to failures in its anti-money-laundering controls at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this month.
Banking on it: Natwest is hoping the £340million fine called for by the FCA will be reduced by at least a third because it pleaded guilty
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – which brought the case – called for a £340million fine.
But the bank has set just £254million aside in the third quarter of this year to cover central litigation costs – and this includes provisions for a number of other cases too.
It is understood that Natwest, formerly known as Royal Bank of Scotland, is hoping the £340million fine called for by the FCA will be reduced by at least a third because it pleaded guilty.
The ultimate penalty will be decided by a judge in a sentencing hearing on December 13.
Natwest pleaded guilty to failing to monitor or prevent suspect activity by one of its clients, collapsed Bradford-based gold dealership Fowler Oldfield, between 2012 and 2016.
The business deposited about £365million in its Natwest accounts over five years – of which £264million was in bags of cash – but the bank’s staff failed to raise any concerns, despite the fact that Fowler Oldfield had said it only expected to make £15million per year.