Deutsche Bank gets £163m fine for 'failing' on anti-money laundering controls

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Deutsche Bank £163 million for anti-money laundering failings and exposing the UK's financial system to criminal activity.

The German lender is accused of "failing to maintain an adequate anti-money laundering (AML) control framework" from 2012 to 2015. 

The penalty is the biggest of its kind.

The FCA said Deutsche Bank exposed the UK financial system to the risks of financial crime by failing to properly oversee the formation of new customer relationships and the booking of global business in the UK.

As a consequence, Deutsche Bank was used by unidentified customers to transfer approximately 10 billion US dollars of unknown origin from Russia to offshore bank accounts in a manner that is "highly suggestive of financial crime".

Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: "Deutsche Bank was obliged to establish and maintain an effective AML control framework.

"By failing to do so, Deutsche Bank put itself at risk of being used to facilitate financial crime and exposed the UK to the risk of financial crime.

"The size of the fine reflects the seriousness of Deutsche Bank's failings.

"We have repeatedly told firms how to comply with our AML requirements and the failings of Deutsche Bank are simply unacceptable.

"Other firms should take notice of today's fine and look again at their own AML procedures to ensure they do not face similar action."