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ING settles money laundering case with Dutch prosecutors for $900 million

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ING settles money laundering case with Dutch prosecutors for $900 million
FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the logo of ING Group NV at a branch office in Amsterdam, Netherlands January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/File photo   -   Copyright  Yves Herman(Reuters)
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By Toby Sterling and Bart H. Meijer

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch prosecutors said on Tuesday they had settled a money laundering case with lender ING Groep NV <INGA.AS> for 775 million euros ($900 million).

Prosecutors said they blamed ING for violating the country’s law on preventing money laundering and financing terrorism “structurally and for years” by not stopping customers’ accounts from being used for money laundering from 2010-2016.

Prosecutors said ING had failed at its gatekeeper duties, by sometimes not identifying the ultimate beneficial owners of accounts and not noticing unusual transactions that ran through them.

“The result was that clients for years were able to make use of ING bank accounts for criminal activities pretty much undisturbed,” a prosecution statement said.

ING should have seen that the money streams that ran through those bank accounts possibly were coming from crime,” prosecutors said.

Of the settlement, 675 million euros was intended as a fine and 100 million euros as disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, the country’s financial prosecution office said in a statement.

ING said it deeply regretted its failures.

“Not meeting the required standards is unacceptable and ING takes full responsibility,” it said in a statement.

“Even though our policies and procedures in the Netherlands resulted in us terminating the relationships with thousands of clients, it was not enough.”

The bank said its executive board, headed by CEO Ralph Hamers, had agreed to forego any bonus for 2018.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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