News

Five years to prosecute NatWest and why no individuals prosecuted?

21/10/2021

British lawmakers have asked the Financial Conduct Authority why it took five years to prosecute NatWest (NWG.L) for failing to prevent the laundering of nearly 400 million pounds ($551.28 million), after the lender pled guilty earlier this month.

The bank on Oct. 7 admitted three criminal charges of not adequately monitoring customer accounts between 2012 and 2016, the first time a bank in Britain acknowledged it committed a criminal offence of this kind.

Mel Stride, chair of the cross-party Treasury Select Committee, said in a letter to the FCA published on Wednesday.

  • "There are questions which remain to be answered, most notably why it has taken five years after the police raid in 2016 to bring this case to a successful conclusion,"

Stride said the committee is also looking into why no individual NatWest staff were prosecuted.

A spokesperson for the FCA said:

  • "We’ve received the letter and will be responding shortly,"

The FCA in the case alleged NatWest had failed to monitor suspect activity by a client that deposited about 365 million pounds in its accounts over five years, of which 264 million was in cash.

NatWest could face a potential penalty of around 340 million pounds under sentencing guidelines, although a judge will set the level of any fine later this year.

The bank reports its third-quarter earnings, in which it could take a provision against the expected fine, on Oct. 29.

https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/lawmakers-probe-timeline-natwest-money-laundering-investigation-2021-10-20/

UNITED KINGDOM