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Bank is fined over laundering rules

The FSA has fined Northern Ireland-based Northern Bank £1.25m for breaching money-laundering rules.

There is no evidence that any money was laundered through branches of the Nat-ional Australia Bank subsidiary but it failed in its requirement to ensure that clients were who they claimed to be.

Between December 2001 and September 2002, it did not obtain “know your customer” information when opening new business accounts.

There were examples of names only and not addresses being verified or documents being accepted that were not capable of proving identification.

Chief executive Don Price says: “We accept that our record-keeping in the past was inadequate but we were acting in good faith at all times. The FSA has noted that Northern Bank found no actual instances of money laundering occurring as a result of its shortcomings.”

FSA managing director Carol Sergeant says: “The size of the fine in this case reflects the prevalence of the breaches, Northern Bank&#39s share of the market it operates in and its failure to take prompt and effective remedial action after it had originally identified its own failings.”

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