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Financial Services

FIMbank hit with €168,942 fine over failings in AML regime

By Elizabeth Hearst

Maltese bank, FIMbank, has become the latest financial institution to be slapped with a fine by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) for “serious shortcomings” in its anti-money laundering obligations. 

The bank has been fined €168,942 by the FIAU as a result of a 2018 inspection of the bank, and subsequent failures in FIMbank’s risk assessment tools as reported by the Times of Malta.

The FIAU detailed that FIMbank did not account for all the countries its clients were dealing with and said a compliance examination also identified issues with the bank’s ability to efficiently retrieve records. 

The report states that the bank failed to take into account the sufficient risk posed by the country of residence of the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) and only took into consideration, countries that are included in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) lists. The countries not included in lists were treated equally, irrespective of the AML/CFT risks posed.

The FIAU concluded that the bank’s record-keeping measures were not adequate for the bank to completely satisfy its record-keeping obligations. The FIAU also identified “serious shortcomings” in relation to the bank’s obligation to “scrutinize transactions”. 

The bank is accused of failing to “effectively monitor the transactions that were taking place through established business relationships”. The FIAU also concluded that the existing screening “did not extend to cover the amount involved in the transaction” or “detection of any patterns of transactions”. 

The FIAU detailed the bank’s failure to “thoroughly scrutinize” the transactions taking place, and described how volumes passing through the banks accounts were “significantly large” and explained how “single payments exceeded €13 Million”, and in other cases, “the transaction did not tally with the customer profile”. 

The intelligence unit noted that corrective measures were being undertaken by the bank at the time of the 2018 compliance review, and added that FIMbank had started to implement measures to address other breaches in the financial institution. 

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