RegulationMay 2 2013

EFG Private Bank fined

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ByKevin White

A statement by the regulator last week said the failings were “serious and lasted more than three years”, with a visit by the FSA in January 2011 and further investigations raising “serious concerns” that the bank had not put its anti-money laundering policies into action.

The FSA found that 17 out of 36 reviewed customer files opened at the subsidiary of Switzerland-based EFGI Group between 2007 and 2011, contained customer due diligence that highlighted significant money laundering risks and insufficient records of how the bank’s senior management had mitigated those risks.

FCA head of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott said: “Poor implementation of agreed policies risked the bank handling the proceeds of crime.”

Although EFG settled the fine at an early stage, which qualified for a 30 per cent discount, it issued a statement that said it was disappointed that shortcomings were found, adding that no evidence of money laundering was detected.

Adviser view

Philippa Gee, managing director of Shropshire-based IFA Philippa Gee Wealth Management, said: “As the investigation was done by the FSA, I think it would be wrong to assume that this is a sign of the FCA baring its teeth and its future response, but there is every need for the regulator to be vigorous on these matters to restore faith in the industry.”