National Westminster Bank (NatWest), owned 62.4% by the UK government, faces criminal proceedings as the Financial Conduct Authority charged the lender with anti-money laundering failures. The FCA alleges that NatWest failed to comply with anti-money laundering rules of adequately monitoring Fowler Oldfield, a jewellery wholesaler that faced previous police investigations in 2016. The FCA stated that a series of large cash deposits worth £365mn ($507mn) between 2011 and 2016 were paid into the NatWest account. Investigations into NatWest’s potential misconduct were launched in 2017.
NatWest declared that it “takes extremely seriously its responsibility to seek to prevent money laundering by third parties and has accordingly made significant, multiyear investments in its financial crime systems and controls”. NatWest could face a court ruling revoking its banking license, effectively shutting down the bank. NatWest is scheduled for court hearing in the coming month. NatWest had previously been censured by the Financial Services Authority (predecessor of the FCA) over money laundering failures in 2016.
NatWest’s dollar bonds were flat – its 4.8% 2026s at 113.846, yielding 1.91% while its GBP 5.125% Perps at 105.684, yielding 4.08%.
For the full story, click here