Author: Nicola Sharp 17 May 2021
Nicola Sharp of financial crime specialists Rahman Ravelli sees the case as the latest high-profile reminder of the need for compliance.
The largest financial services group in Norway is having to pay the equivalent of US $48.1 million for money laundering failings.
DNB ASA is set to pay a fine of 400 million Norwegian krone for not meeting the requirements of the Norwegian Anti-Money Laundering Act.
The fine was imposed by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (Finanstilsynet) after an inspection of DNB’s anti-money laundering (AML) policies and procedures. Another investigation was carried out into DNB’s handling of customer accounts for the Icelandic fisheries company, Samherji.
In a statement, Finanstilsynet said the initial inspection had revealed serious breaches in DNB’s compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act. The authority stated that the investigation relating to Samherji revealed “many of the same serious breaches”.
As a large number of the money laundering violations identified were either time-barred or had occurred under Norway’s old money laundering act, penalties could not be imposed. Finanstilsynet emphasised that the fine imposed related only to the violations of Norway’s current money laundering law.
In a statement, DNB admitted its “anti-money laundering efforts had not given sufficient results at the time of the inspection,” and that there were areas where it had needed to make improvements to its AML policies and procedures. It said AML was at the “top of the Board’s agenda’’ and added that efforts had been made to enhance its AML programme, including measures relating to risk assessment and classification and electronic monitoring.
DMB also stated that it was no longer being investigated as part of the wider investigation into Samherji.
The fine imposed on DNB is yet another sign of the increasing worldwide focus on money laundering. Recent years have seen a series of penalties imposed for money laundering failings. Many of these have involved some of the largest banks and financial services companies.
As with previous fines, the penalty that DNB is having to pay is yet another reminder of the need to ensure compliance with money laundering regulations.
Nicola is known for her fraud, civil recovery, arbitration and business crime expertise, her experience of leading the largest financial disputes and multinational investigations and her skills in devising preventative measures and conducting internal investigations for corporates.