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06 Dec 2018

Claire Cross comments on the FCA’s first decision notice against former CEO of Sonali Bank UK in GIR

The former CEO of Sonali Bank UK is contesting an FCA decision to fine him £76,400 for allegedly failing to take reasonable steps to assess and mitigate anti-money laundering risks.

The FCA published a decision notice against Mohammed Ataur Rahman Prodhan on 4 December, alleging that the former CEO failed to ensure that sufficient focus was given to the UK subsidiary of the Bangladesh state-owned bank’s anti-money laundering systems and controls. The FCA, which fined Prodhan £76,400, also alleged that he failed to take reasonable steps to assess and mitigate the anti-money laundering risks arising from a culture of non-compliance among Sonali Bank UK (SBUK) employees.

This is the first time the FCA has taken action against a CEO-level executive for failing to adequately address a bank’s money laundering risks.

Partner Claire Cross commented:

I believe there is a real drive at the FCA to hold senior individuals personally accountable in respect of AML breaches and that next year we can expect to see further such cases taken in the regulatory and potentially also the criminal arena. The FCA are clearly stating that responsibility for financial criminal controls cannot just be wholesale delegated to the MLRO [money laundering reporting officer] and then ignored.”

Read the full article in GIR here, behind a paywall.