Santander fined millions by the FSA

Santander FSAThe Norwegian Finance Supervisory Authority (FSA) has uncovered several deficiencies in the last year's supervision of the consumer loan banks. Director of the FSA, Morten Baltzersen (r), and Director of Banking and Insurance Supervision, Emil Steffensen. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix.

Santander fined NOK 9 million by the Norwegian FSA

The Norwegian Finance Supervisory Authority (FSA) has imposed a fine of NOK 9 million on Santander Consumer Bank because 1.6 million transactions have not been controlled under the Money Laundering Act.

The fine is announced in a letter from the Norwegian Financial Supervisory Authority on Tuesday, E24 reports.

It was the bank itself that notified the FSA about the deviation in December 2018.

FSA writes that «The incident concerned an error Santander had uncovered in one of the bank’s source systems for electronic transaction monitoring. The monitoring is meant to detect suspicious transactions related to money laundering and financing of terrorists».



Thirty-two high-risk customers

About 1.6 million transactions – made over a period of four years – have not been controlled under the Money Laundering Act, according to the audit. It regards a total of 303,415 customers. The transactions have subsequently been reexamined, revealing that 32 of these were made by customers categorised as high-risk. However, none of the transactions resulted in reports of suspicious activity to the Economic Crimes Unit (Økokrim).

The FSA, nevertheless, believes that the deviation is so serious that a fine must be imposed. It points out that the offence took place over a long period of time. Further, that it applied to many transactions and customers.

Santander Consumer Bank has received prior notice of the fine. The bank has replied that it disagrees that the breach constitutes a violation of the Money Laundering Act, sanctionable by a fine. Santander also believes that the fine is set too high, in light of the gravity of the violation.

The FSA has, however, not found any reason to make changes to its decision. The Authority maintains that the uncovered violations are of such a nature and extent that a fine shall be imposed.

The decision by the FSA can be appealed within three weeks. The Ministry of Finance will handle a possible appeal.

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© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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