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British Regulator Slaps Bank of Beirut With A Hefty Fine

Roberta Holland | March 18, 2015

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) came down hard earlier this month on two employees of the Bank of Beirut (UK) Ltd and the bank itself. The FCA fined the bank’s former compliance officer, Anthony Wills, £19,600, and the former internal auditor, Michael Allin, £9,900, for failing to be open and cooperative during an investigation. In 2010 and 2011, the FCA ordered the Bank of Beirut to take actions to mitigate its risk of money laundering, terrorism financing, and other financial crime after raising concerns about the bank’s culture. Follow-up investigations between 2011 and 2013 found the bank repeatedly provided the FCA with misleading information, including whether the bank had taken the required remedial steps.

Wills handled most of the bank’s communication with the FCA and tried to dismiss the concerns that the remedial actions weren’t being performed, the FCA said. Allin also gave the FCA “false assurances” that the corrective actions had been taken to improve...

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