Irish Bank Fined for not Preventing Money Laundering
Ireland’s Central Bank announced Wednesday it had fined Allied Irish Banks Plc (AIB) – one of the country’s "big four" commercial lenders - €2.27 million (US$ 2.47 million) for "significant failures" in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Central Bank found that, between 2010 and 2014, AIB persistently failed to immediately report 211 suspicious transactions to police and tax authorities.
AIB also failed to ensure that approximately 573,000 customers who had held accounts since before 1995 had provided a proof of address and identification.
Notably, AIB’s anti-money laundering unit took more than 18 months to address its backlog of outstanding alerts, which at one point stood at over 4,200.
AIB is one of the largest banks in Ireland with 206 branches and approximately 2.6 million customers.
The Central Bank’s Director of Enforcement, Derville Rowland, said "it was particularly concerning that sufficient resources were not applied promptly to investigate a substantial backlog of alerts of potentially suspicious activity."
In total, the Central Bank found that AIB had breached compliance laws six times.
"This is the second enforcement action taken, in the last six months, by the Central Bank against a bank for unacceptable weaknesses in its anti-money laundering framework," said Rowland.
In November, the Central Bank fined Ulster Bank €3.3 million (US$ 3.5 million) for similar breaches, Bloomberg reported.
Since 2006, the Central Bank has imposed 108 such fines, totaling €57 million (US$ 62 million), according to the Journal.ie.