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Looking at the laundry list

At the end of last year, the FSA gave Abbey a nasty early Christmas present in the form of a £2m fine for money laundering breaches.

This apparently arose from an initiative by Abbey whereby they had reported the matter themselves to the FSA.

As the saying goes: “If you tell your wife everything, does she love you more afterwards?”

Certainly not if you are dealing with a regulator who acts as judge and jury with no right of appeal and is always eager to look at ways of topping up the coffers.

It must have certainly acted as a salutary reminder to other banks and building societies not to rush to the gate too quickly.

I see that Abbey&#39s main crime was not ascertaining enough information for money laundering purposes when clients opened new accounts.

As National Savings and Investments normally makes no attempt to obtain such information and can collect deposits of up to £100,000, then no doubt the FSA will wish to fine them in a similar manner.

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