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Santander ditched EY as a financial crime consultant over alleged failings.


According to three people who know the matter, EY agreed to terminate a consulting contract and refund millions of pounds to Santander’s UK business after failings in its anti-financial crime work for the bank.

According to two of the people:-

  • The Big Four consultancy was one of several external advisers called on by Santander as it attempted to address financial crime and anti-money laundering systems that had drawn scrutiny from regulators.
  • The quality of work performed by EY was so poor that the professional services giant was forced this year to refund the bank about £15mn for the project.

said one of the people.

  • The work, codenamed Project Morgan, “went badly wrong over an extended period,” and
  • The financial settlement dented the results of the consultancy’s UK financial services division for its most recent financial year, which ended in June,

The amount refunded to Santander is equivalent to the annual pay of about 19 of EY’s UK partners, who were each paid an average of £803,000 in the 12 months to June 2022, the most recent year for which it has published financial results.

It is still being determined whether the work was brought in-house by Santander or handed to another firm.

IN DECEMBER, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority fined Santander £108mn, one of its largest penalties for anti-money laundering processes, for failings between 2012 and 2017.

Santander said:-

  • It had invested more than £700mn over the past five years in a programme to transform its financial crime systems.
  • “We need to keep pace with technological change, which involves piloting new platforms and processes to ensure we are complying with best practices and continuing to innovate,”

EY declined to comment.



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