A subsidiary of Dutch bank Rabobank has agreed to pay more than $368m to resolve a US investigation into its anti-money laundering policies.
The US authorities said the bank "chose to look the other way" when faced with millions of dollars in transactions that suggested criminal activity.
Rabobank admitted trying to obstruct the examination of its policies. It called its actions "regrettable and unacceptable".
The US Department of Justice said that between 2009 and 2012, Rabobank received repeated internal alerts of suspicious transactions by "high-risk" customers at branches near the Mexican border.
But instead of investigating and following money laundering procedures, the bank instead created a list of "verified" customers whose transactions were never reviewed. The list grew from less than 10 customers to more than 1,000 over three years.
It may be that Radobank thought it was being clever in the way it sought to avoid the issue of money laundering. But such an approach can only bring future problems.
The authorities expect all financial institutions to be doing everything possible to identify, report and prevent money laundering. Looking the other way now carries a very heavy price.
Read our article: MAKING SURE YOU DO ENOUGH TO PREVENT MONEY LAUNDERING