LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog said on Wednesday it had fined the London branch of Germany’s Commerzbank 37.8 million pounds ($47.34 million) for failing to have proper controls for preventing money laundering.
“Commerzbank London was aware of these weaknesses and failed to take reasonable and effective steps to fix them despite the FCA raising specific concerns about them in 2012, 2015 and 2017,” the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a statement.
The weaknesses took place at a time when the FCA was publishing guidance on steps banks could take to reduce the risk of financial crime, and was enforcing action against several firms in relation to anti-money laundering controls, the watchdog said.
“Despite these clear warnings, the failures continued.”
Commerzbank said it takes the FCA’s findings very seriously, and has cooperated fully in an investigation that found no actual financial crime.
“Commerzbank London has therefore undertaken a significant remediation exercise,” the German bank said in a statement.
Reporting by Huw Jones, additional reporting by Patricia Uhlig in Frankfurt, editing by Kirstin Ridley and Louise Heavens