On 13 October, an article from BCL Solicitors LLP noted that NatWest has pleaded guilty to failures under the UK’s money laundering regulations, but asks if it is it right to call this a ‘failure to prevent’ on its part? It points out that the same sort of offence (in bribery) has been the basis of several DPA in recent years, in which companies have (in effect) made admissions to the SFO about the guilt of ‘associated persons’. It explains that, while no criticism seems to be made about the bank’s initial CDD, it then failed to institute ongoing monitoring, or to conduct enhanced CDD as it should have done in later years. It is noted that it is important to note that the FCA did not have to prove that any offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act occurred, but that nevertheless, the money laundering regulations provided a route to prosecute NatWest for its failure in ongoing monitoring with respect to the customer. The article argues that a comparison with the offence under section 7 of the Bribery Act is instructive.
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