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Lawmakers probe timeline of NatWest money laundering investigation

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By Reuters
Lawmakers probe timeline of NatWest money laundering investigation
Lawmakers probe timeline of NatWest money laundering investigation   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> – British lawmakers have asked the Financial Conduct Authority why it took five years to prosecute NatWest for failing to prevent the laundering of nearly 400 million pounds ($551.28 million), after the lender pled guilty earlier this month.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>“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,” Mel Stride, chair of the cross-party Treasury Select Committee, said in a letter to the <span class="caps">FCA</span> published on Wednesday.</p> <p>“We’ve received the letter and will be responding shortly,” a spokesperson for the <span class="caps">FCA</span> said.</p> <p>Stride said the committee is also looking into why no individual NatWest staff were prosecuted.</p> <p>The <span class="caps">FCA</span> 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>The bank reports its third-quarter earnings, in which it could take a provision against the expected fine, on Oct. 29. </p> <p>($1 = 0.7256 pounds)</p> <p/> </div>