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INTERSHORES I FIAU fines HSBC €82,000 for anti-money laundering breaches


The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIAU), Malta's anti-money laundering unit, found the bank failed to adequately document the reason behind a €2 million transaction by one of its customers.


In an notice, the FIAU said that although the bank provided it with more detailed information about the business operations of the customer in question, HSBC did not back this up with invoices or any other supporting documentation for the transaction.  The FIAU also said that in another breach, HSBC’s transaction monitoring system failed to flag various high-value transactions by one customer, which at times reached €800,000.


HSBC told the FIAU that although the rule in place at the time did not trigger any alerts on the transactions carried out by that particular customer, a “tuning exercise” took place and revised thresholds were put in place for the transaction monitoring system.


The FIAU said the bank also stated that other controls in place did lead it to scrutinise the transactions in question. The unit however noted that the previously established monetary thresholds to monitor large transactions passing through the accounts within a specific time period were too high, thus increasing the risk that certain large and anomalous transactions were not being captured and adequately scrutinised by the bank.


Source: Times of Malta


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