Banks

NatWest faces criminal action over money laundering offences

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Key Points
  • The Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement that National Westminster Bank Plc's systems and controls failed to adequately monitor and scrutinize activity over an account held by a UK customer between October 2011 and 2016.
  • The FCA alleged that around £365 million ($504.72 million)was paid into the unnamed customer's accounts, of which around £264 million was in cash. No individual was being charged, it added.
The logo of NatWest, a retail unit of RBS, outside a bank branch in London, U.K., on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Britain's financial regulator said on Tuesday it had launched criminal action against a unit of NatWest over money laundering offences.

The Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement that National Westminster Bank Plc's systems and controls failed to adequately monitor and scrutinize activity over an account held by a UK customer between October 2011 and 2016.

The FCA alleged that around £365 million ($504.72 million)was paid into the unnamed customer's accounts, of which around £264 million was in cash. No individual was being charged, it added.

The watchdog said its action was the first under a 2007 UK money laundering law, and the first such prosecution against a bank under the same rules.

NatWest said in a statement it was cooperating with the investigation.

"NatWest Group takes extremely seriously its responsibility to seek to prevent money laundering by third parties and accordingly has made significant, multi-year investments in its financial crime systems and controls," it said.

NatWest will appear at a Westminster magistrates' court in London next month, the FCA added.