ABN AMRO pays a hefty price for anti-money laundering settlement
Payment of €480 million will impact ABN AMRO Bank's first-quarter results in 2021
ABN AMRO Bank N.V. had to sell out a hefty fine to the tune of €480 million as settlement amount after accepting a settlement offer from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service. The bank was found guilty following an anti-money laundering investigation in the Netherlands.
The Group agreed to pay a fine of €300 million and €180 million as disgorgement to escape prosecution for its inability to combat money laundering.
Payment of €480 million will impact ABN AMRO Bank's first-quarter results in 2021, the bank said.
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service found serious deficiencies in the company's processes to combat money laundering between 2014 and 2020. These included failure to monitor transactions and client exit processes, which resulted in some of its clients abusing ABN AMRO accounts.
In a statement issued by the Group, ABN AMRO said that it had agreed to pay a fine of €480 million as disgorgement reflecting the seriousness, scope and duration of the identified shortcomings.
The prosecution service said that its investigation was ongoing and that it had identified three former board members, whom it did not name, as suspects who were primarily responsible for violation of Netherland's anti-money laundering act.
One of the suspects is Chris Vogelzang who was reportedly quitting as the CEO of Danske Bank. Danske Bank said that Vogelzang, who had previously served on ABN AMRO's executive board, was resigning after being targeted in a Dutch money laundering probe.
ABN AMRO has been accused of failing to spot accounts involved in money laundering, failing to end relations with suspicious clients and failing to report such transactions to the relevant authorities.
"The lessons we have learned from this experience drive us in our continued effort as gatekeepers to achieve a safer society and a financial system that meets the highest standards of integrity," ABN Amro, Chief Executive Robert Swaak said.