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Dow Jones Newswires: Santander U.K. fined $131.4 million for anti-money-laundering failures

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The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority on Friday said that it has fined Banco Santander SA’s British arm 107.7 million British pounds ($131.4 million) for anti-money-laundering failures.

According to the FCA, Santander UK PLC
SANB,

has failed to properly oversee and manage its AML systems between December 2012 and October 2017, which affected the account oversight of more than 560,000 business customers.

“Santander’s poor management of their anti-money-laundering systems and their inadequate attempts to address the problems created a prolonged and severe risk of money laundering and financial crime,” said Mark Steward, executive Director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA.

The British bank has agreed to settle, which means it has qualified for a 30% discount. Without the discount, the penalty would have been GBP153.99 million, the FCA said.

“While we took action to address our AML [anti-money-laundering] issues once they were identified, we accept that our AML framework at the time should have been stronger,” Santander UK Chief Executive Mike Regnier said. “We have since made significant changes to address this by overhauling our financial-crime technology, systems and processes. ”

Write to Giulia Petroni at giulia.petroni@wsj.com

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