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RBS fined £750,000 over ID failures

The FSA has shown it is taking its money-laundering responsibilities seriously, hitting the Royal Bank of Scotland with a £750,000 fine for failing to run identification checks on prospective customers.

This is the first time the regulator has flexed its regulatory muscle in the moneylaundering arena since it acquired the powers at N2 on December 2001. It is also a shot across IFAs&#39 bows, warning them they must take seriously the new demands that providers are placing on them in collecting ID from clients.

There is no evidence that any money laundering has occurred as the fine relates to a failure on the part of RBS to make identification checks on clients and retain ID copies on file.

The regulator says RBS realised the lapse on its own and has taken steps to remedy the situation, otherwise the fine may have been much bigger.

The action relates only to its RBS branches throughout the UK, not the RBS Group which includes NatWest.

FSA managing director Carol Sergeant says: “This fine demonstrates that the FSA takes anti-money laundering compliance very seriously. The steps RBS took to satisfy itself that their clients really were who they claimed to be were inadequate.”

An RBS spokeswoman says: “There was no evidence of any money laundering, it was our internal audit process which identified this and we notified the FSA. We have now undertaken a comprehensive programme of retraining for all of our branch staff.”

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