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NEWS: Belgian central bank fines BNP Paribas €15M for ‘egregious’ AML failings

BNP Paribas in Belgium has been fined €15M for ‘egregious’ AML failings, the country’s central bank has announced.

Belgium’s National Bank (NBB) found insufficient measures were implemented to combat money laundering between 2014 and 2019.

BNP Paribas Fortis, Belgium’s largest bank, failed to develop effective internal control policies and had a poor verification process for customers trading in precious metals.

Officials described finding egregious flaws in the institution’s protocols for detecting and reporting potentially illicit transactions.

Inspectors said the bank used “incomplete and inappropriate” transaction-monitoring rules for detecting potentially illicit transactions that failed to account for the risks of certain financial products, clientele, payment destinations and methods of delivery.

According to a statement from BNP Paribas Fortis, the investigation by the NBB related to a period prior to June 2019 and the “reported shortcomings have since been resolved”.

The shortcomings at the time “did not have any detrimental consequences for customers or third parties, as confirmed by the NBB in its decision”, BNP Fortis added.

“Since then, the bank has followed an extensive remediation path aimed at strengthening procedures, systems and internal control measures with regard to money laundering prevention,” the banking establishment said.

“The bank will continue to strive to apply the highest standards in the fight against money laundering and to actively contribute to the security of the financial system.”

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