Security & Fraud

ABN Amro Under Investigation Over AML, Terrorist Financing

ABN Amro

Netherlands bank ABN Amro revealed on Thursday, Sept. 26, that the Dutch public prosecutor is investigating possible money laundering and terrorist financing activities, according to a report by the Financial Times.

The bank is accused of not performing due diligence or customer monitoring, and not reporting suspicious transactions to the proper authorities, and when it did report them, not doing so in a timely manner. The news of the investigation caused the bank’s shares to drop 12 percent. 

There have been several financial scandals in the Netherlands recently that illustrate how illicit money flows freely in Europe, and how the European Union is working to tighten regulations, but so far it has still had issues that it can’t control.

One of the largest lenders in the Netherlands, ING, was recently slapped with a milestone fine of €775 million after it was found that it didn’t comply with regulations, and it allowed the laundering of millions of euros for illegal purposes. ING is no longer allowed to bring on new clients in Italy during a local investigation as well.

Danske Bank was implicated in one of the largest money-laundering scandals in the region, when an investigation discovered that €200 billion worth of Russian and former Soviet money traveled through an Estonian Branch.

Rabobank was also embroiled in a scandal when regulators in the U.S. fined it $369 million for its involvement in the laundering of Mexican gang money.

ABN Amro said it would cooperate with the investigation, and it sent a message to investors that it could face fines. The lender is half owned by the Dutch government. The bank said earlier in the year that it was going to spend €220 million to shore up its diligence practices and procedures when it comes to money laundering.

The bank’s chief executive, Kees van Dijkhuizen, said in June that he would step down in April, when his term was completed. 

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