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Ulster Bank fined 3.3m euro over rule breaches

Published 01/11/2016

The Central Bank said its inquiries uncovered significant failings in Ulster Bank's procedures
The Central Bank said its inquiries uncovered significant failings in Ulster Bank's procedures

Ulster Bank has been fined 3.3 million euro by Ireland's financial watchdog over breaches of money laundering and terrorist financing rules.

The Central Bank said the bank admitted failures in its practices over six years from July 2010.

It said its inquiries uncovered significant failings in Ulster Bank's procedures but no money laundering or financing of terrorism was identified.

Central Bank director of enforcement Derville Rowland said the breaches were especially concerning and highlighted unacceptable weaknesses over an extended period of time.

"As one of the largest retail banks in Ireland, Ulster Bank Ireland provides a gateway to the financial system for more than one million customers through its extensive network of branches, online and telephone banking," she said.

"Therefore, it is imperative that it vigorously applies the highest levels of anti-money laundering compliance in order to protect not only itself but its customers and the wider financial system."

Ulster Bank, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group, declined to comment.

The Central Bank of Ireland said banks and financial institutions must have adequate policies in place under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 to prevent and detect the commission of money laundering and terrorist financing.

It said its inquiry identified eight breaches including issues around outsourcing, risk assessment and due diligence of customers.

Ulster Bank was fined a total of 3.325 million euro.

Ms Rowland added: "The fine imposed on Ulster Bank Ireland demonstrates that the Central Bank will take action where anti-money laundering frameworks and controls are not sufficiently robust.

"The enforcement of anti-money laundering governance and controls is and will continue to be a priority for the Central Bank."

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