S.African banks fined for lax anti-money laundering controls
South Africa's central bank fined four of the country's biggest commercial banks on Wednesday for weak controls against money laundering and financing for terrorism.
The banks — including Absa, FirstRand, Nedbank and Africa’s largest operator Standard Bank — were charged a total of 125 million rand ($11.8 million).
Standard Bank was found to have failed to meet its obligations to report cash transactions above 24,999.99 rand ($2,374) to the financial intelligence centre.
It was also criticised for slack controls for detecting property associated with terrorist activities.
The bank said in a statement it had taken “immediate remedial action to address the issues identified” and has initiated a programme to address the bank’s findings.
“The required action plans will be closely monitored and progress will be tracked and reported to the (South African Reserve Bank) on a regular basis.”
In January, the British division of Standard Bank was fined 7.6 million pounds ($12.8 million) for lax anti-money laundering controls.
Absa, FirstRand and Nedbank, were also penalised for keeping inadequate customer verification details and transactional records.
The Reserve Bank said all were co-operating and working with it to “address the identified compliance deficiencies… and have undertaken to remediate the identified shortcomings.”