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GTB UK, Financial Conduct Authority reach settlement on anti-money laundering controls

Guaranty Trust Bank Uganda transits to Tier 2 Credit Institution

Guaranty Trust Bank UK Limited announced Tuesday, that it has reached a settlement with the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA), United Kingdom’s financial conduct regulator, accepting findings in relation to the historical Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls in its operations from October 2014 to July 2019.

The bank made the announcement through a statement issued for the purpose of sensitising the general public.

The bank added that it has cooperated fully with the FCA investigation and has agreed on a penalty sum of £7.671 million which was calculated by reference to a proportion of the revenues of GTBank UK over the relevant period and included a 30 percent discount for early settlement.

Guaranty Trust Bank UK is subject to the supervision of the FCA and the PRA in the UK and its UK customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS in that country.

Gbenga Alade, managing director, GTBank UK shed more light on the kind of settlement reached with the FCA.

He said: “As a responsible financial services institution that is committed to best practices, GTBank UK takes its AML obligations extremely seriously. We note with sincere regret the FCA’s findings regarding AML control gaps in our operations in the past and we are very sorry for this.

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“We would like to assure all our stakeholders and the general public that necessary steps have been taken to address and resolve the identified gaps. Whilst there was no direct customer impairment arising from the period under review [and the FCA’s findings do not include any instances of suspected money laundering].

“We have since reinforced our AML control framework and implemented changes in our AML processes in line with best practice with a view to ensuring that the highest standards are maintained in our operations.”

The FCA’s investigation focused on GTBank UK’s AML controls and steps taken by the bank to remediate these to ensure they operated in line with the relevant requirements. The findings are final, and no further action is anticipated in respect of this matter.

The FCA acknowledged in its findings that GTBank UK has spent considerable time and resources in order to bring its AML standards up to the required level.

The Guaranty Trust Banking Group, including GTBank UK, noted that they are fully committed to the fight against all forms of financial crime and to continuing to meet all applicable financial crime regulations and legislation globally.

“Our AML policies and controls, together with our overall risk management strategy, are regularly reviewed and revised to ensure that they remain relevant and current in line with the evolving regulatory requirements,” the bank stated.