March 18, 2021

FCA charges major bank with violating Money Laundering Regulations 2007

On March 16, 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority announced that criminal proceedings had been commenced against London-based National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest) for allegedly mishandling a customer’s account between November 2011 and October 2016, in violation of sections 8(1), 8(3) and 14(1) of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.  According to the FCA, NatWest failed to conduct necessary due diligence and proper monitoring of the account by permitting increasingly large cash deposits without proper scrutiny.  The deposits allegedly totaled £365 million of which nearly £264 million was in cash.  

This is the FCA’s first criminal prosecution under MLR 2007, and the first time it has prosecuted a bank under the statute.  The FCA has indicated that no individuals are being charged in the proceedings. NatWest is currently scheduled to appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on April 14, 2021 to face these charges.

FCA Press Release