ABN Amro has revealed an ongoing investigation by prosecutors now suspects “culpable money laundering” by the Dutch Bank

The comments, in the bank’s latest annual report, suggest the scope of the investigation is wider than originally thought. Following the report, the bank’s share price fell yesterday, finishing at 9.96 at close of play, 4.8% down day-on-day.

The report said: “The scope of the investigation includes suspicions of non-compliance with the Wwft (the Dutch Act on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism), such as having client files in good order, timely reporting of unusual transactions and discontinuing relationships with clients in due time and related suspicions of culpable money laundering.”

“The investigation is ongoing and ABN AMRO continues to fully cooperate.”

The investigation, launched in September 2019, was originally understood to be focused on alleged failures in transaction monitoring and reporting and failing to end relations with suspicious clients.

If, however ABN Amro is found to have been carrying out ‘culpable money laundering’ the risk of a large fine becomes greater. Culpable money laundering means a bank is aware of possible money laundering activity but did not act on it.

ABN Amro admits “the potential financial impact of the outcome of the investigation” can be “significant” but says it cannot be estimated at this time.

The ABN Amro report also said the bank stepped up its Anti Money Laundering (AML) remediation programmes last year, increasing the number of full-time employees committed to AML activities from 2,000 to 3,800.

It said: “ABN AMRO has further increased its ongoing efforts to strengthen its AML remediation programmes in order to be compliant with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing legislation. We have implemented multiple remediation programmes, including for remediating the Retail client portfolio.

“We are also investing further resources in strengthening the necessary processes, as well as in further improving systems required to assist efforts to combat financial crime.”

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