Dutch multinational financial services firm ING Bank has vowed to do more to tackle money laundering,having already carried out an internal review of its procedures for identifying and tackling financial crime.
Prosecutors have ordered ING Bank to pay over $800 million for a “structural infringement” of the Netherlands’ Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act, failing to conduct the required due diligence to determine the source of clients’ funds.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service said ING’s clients had been able to use the firm’s services for criminal activity “almost undisturbed” from 2010 to 2016.
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Additionally, the prosecution service determined that ING should have identified certain clients were likely to be using the bank to launder the proceeds of crime, saying, “ING NL should have seen that certain cash flows that flowed through the bank accounts of ING NL’s clients may have originated from crime. The bank has wrongly not taken sufficient action on this.”
The bank has been handed a €675 million fine and will pay back around €100m in fees from transactions likely to be “illegal or unethical.”
An earlier internal review found shortcomings in numerous departments and record-keeping procedures, rendering it difficult to produce an audit trail for some clients’ transactions.
The bank defended its staff, blaming the issues on “collective shortcomings” in senior management, and appropriately, executive board members will not be receiving cash or equity bonuses for this financial year.
“As a bank we have the obligation to ensure that our operations meet the highest standards, especially where it comes to preventing criminals from misusing the financial system. Not meeting those standards is unacceptable and ING takes full responsibility,” ING CEO Ralph Hamers said.
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