Rabobank To Face AML Action From Dutch Regulator

November 18, 2021
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The Dutch central bank is due to discipline the Netherlands second-largest bank for failure in its anti-money laundering compliance, the financial institution has announced.

The Dutch central bank is due to discipline the Netherlands second-largest bank for failure in its anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, the financial institution has announced.

De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) will be taking punitive action against Rabobank, the bank has said in a press statement.

In the draft instruction that Rabobank has said it received on October 12, DNB had ordered Rabobank to remedy deficiencies in its compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act.

These deficiencies mainly concern the execution, recording and outsourcing of client due diligence, transaction monitoring and reporting of unusual transactions.

The action follows a warning from the central bank in 2018 that it should improve its know your customer (KYC) activities.

The injunction, known in the Netherlands as a Last onder Dwangsom, or burden under duress in English, saw the DNB investigate the bank in 2020.

However, this found that the Ultrecht-headquartered bank had failed to meet the obligations set out by its supervisor, resulting in a €500,000 fine.

“It goes without saying that protecting our customers, members and society against financial crime is part of this mission,” said Wiebe Draijer, Rabobank’s board chair. “We view the role of gatekeeper to the financial system as our commitment and joint responsibility to society. While we have made improvements, much remains to be done.”

Rabobank joins its competitors in the Netherlands in facing tough action from the financial supervisor.

In 2018, ING was fined €775m by DNB for failing to comply with AML rules, something that prosecutors said it had done “structurally and for years”.

In April this year, ABN AMRO accepted a settlement offer of €480m. In this instance, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (DPPS) found that there were “serious shortcomings” in ABN AMRO's processes to combat money laundering in the Netherlands.

This included client acceptance, transaction monitoring and client exit processes in the period between 2014 and 2020, meaning some clients were able to abuse ABN AMRO accounts to launder money.

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