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11 April 2017 - Coutts fined for breaching anti-money laundering rules in Hong Kong
Coutts and CoSource - http://www.reuters.com/article/hongkong-coutts-regulator-idUSL3N1HJ3OB?rpc=401&Where -
Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of ChinaCost -
7,000,000 HKDBusiness line -
Private Banking and Wealth Management
The Monetary Authority (MA) of Hong Kong has reprimanded and fined Coutts’ Hong Kong branch HK$7m for breaching anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing rules.
The investigation by the MA found that Coutts Hong Kong failed to establish and maintain effective procedures for determining whether its customers (or the beneficial owners of its customers) were politically exposed persons (PEPs) and for obtaining senior management approval to continue a business relationship with a customer after it became apparent they were a PEP.
The investigation also found that Coutts Hong Kong had failed to identify PEPs, despite relevant information being publicly available. It also failed to follow up promptly on PEP alerts received from a commercially available database to which it subscribed.
As a result, there was delay not only in identifying PEPs but also in obtaining senior management approval to continue those business relationships. The investigation also found contraventions arising from failures to carry out customer due diligence before establishing a business relationship and to obtain senior management approval to continue a business relationship which presented a high risk.