The South African bank Nedbank was fined 35 million Rand ($21 million) due to its money laundering shortcomings.
The South African banking supervisor, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), imposed the fine following an investigation that concluded that Nedbank was not complying with anti-money laundering legislation.
The investigation, which began in 2019, found that Nedbank failed to keep accurate records or adopt an appropriate risk-based approach.
It was said that cash transactions that were made above R24,999.99 went unrecorded and that enhanced due diligence was not carried out when risk assessing new clients. SARB concluded that this could have exposed Nedbank to money laundering, although it was noted that Nedbank had not been involved in criminal activity, had fully cooperated with the investigation and had since resolved the issues.
While there was no evidence of Nedbank being involved in money laundering or financial crime, the actions taken by SARB represent a clear attempt to crack down on such activity. At this time, South Africa wants to send out the message that adequate policies and procedures have to be in place and that anti-money laundering compliance and due diligence processes are essential within financial institutions.
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