Brian Monroe, 28 April 2021
Dutch authorities have hit the third largest bank in the Netherlands with a penalty of more than a half a billion dollars for longstanding failings in nearly every area of its fincrime compliance program, including lax customer risk scoring, shoddy alert investigations and missed reports of potential suspicious activity.
The Netherlands Public Prosecution Service (NPPS) has settled its probe into Amsterdam-based ABN Amro Bank for 480 million euros, or just less than $583 million, for falling “seriously short” of anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program requirements and being considered “culpable” in aiding criminal groups in cleansing ill-gotten gains.
The settlement, however, while lifting one specter of uncertainty for a banking group more than 300 years old, still has lingering tethers of risk in one of the most feared arenas of compliance enforcement: individual liability.
The NPPS stated that the investigation into the individuals responsible is ongoing, but the agency has already identified three former members of the bank’s board of directors as being “effectively responsible” for the AML violations – a detail that should not be lost on top compliance executives, the C-suite and the typically aloof, insulated and protected board members.
Depending on the final tally of evidence gathered, these directors – and others – could be criminally prosecuted for money laundering.