United Kingdom: Natwest fined £264m after taking deposits of laundered cash in bin bags

NatWest has been fined more than £264m for anti-money-laundering failures that involved black bin liners stuffed full of cash being deposited, and sums so large that one branch’s two floor-to-ceiling safes proved “inadequate” for storing it all.

The Bradford jeweller Fowler Oldfield’s predicted annual turnover was £15m when first taken on as a client, but it ended up depositing £365m with the bank over a five-year period, including £264m in cash.

At the time, the National Crime Agency requested information about the customer and said that as this involved a lot of Scottish banknotes being deposited, “this money may have been related to the trade in controlled drugs”, court documents state. Law enforcement officers believed that the discovery of large amounts of Scottish banknotes in England was an indicator of criminal activity.

This article was originally posted on guardian.com

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