Banking

City watchdog grilled by MPs over Natwest money laundering case

City watchdog grilled by MPs on why it took so long to prosecute Natwest over money laundering case


The City watchdog has been quizzed by MPs over why it took so long to prosecute Natwest in a big money laundering case.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was also told to explain why it decided not to pursue any individual bankers at Natwest, which failed to raise the alarm when a business customer started to deposit bags of cash worth millions into its account. 

The questions were posed to FCA chief executive, Nikhil Rathi, in a letter from Tory MP Mel Stride, chairman of the Treasury committee. 

Natwest, now run by chief executive Alison Rose (pictured), admitted it had gaping holes in its crime detection systems

It came just two weeks after Natwest pleaded guilty in court to failures in its money-laundering controls.

The bank, now run by chief executive Alison Rose, admitted it had gaping holes in its crime detection systems which meant it failed to spot suspicious activities by Bradford-based gold dealership Fowler Oldfield.

It deposited £365million in its Natwest accounts over five years – of which £264million was in holdalls of cash.

Stride said: ‘There are questions which remain to be answered, most notably why it has taken five years to bring this case to a successful conclusion.’

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