The FCA has imposed a fine of £3,250,600 on Sonali Bank (UK) Limited (the Firm) and a restriction, preventing the Firm from accepting deposits from new customers for over five months. The regulator has also fined the Firm’s former money laundering reporting officer (MLRO), Steven Smith (Mr Smith), £17,900, also prohibiting him from performing the MLRO or compliance oversight functions at regulated firms.
The FCA found serious and systemic weaknesses in nearly all of the Firm’s AML control and governance structure, including its senior management team, its money laundering reporting function, the oversight of its branches and its AML policies and procedures.
Mark Steward, Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA said:
“There is an abundance of guidance for firms on how to comply with AML and financial crime requirements and no excuse for failing to follow it. The FCA will not hesitate to take action against firms and senior individuals who fall short of our standards. As in this case, such action may include using our powers to restrict a firm’s continuing business.”