FCA censures ex-CEO for cash laundering failings

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The Monetary Conduct Authority has publicly censured Mohammad Ataur Rahman Prodhan, the previous chief govt officer of Sonali Financial institution (UK) Restricted (SBUK), for anti-money laundering failings.

Mr Prodhan was the senior supervisor at SBUK with accountability for the institution and upkeep of efficient AML (anti-money laundering) techniques and controls. 

In 2016 the financial institution was fined £3.25m (discounted from £4.6m underneath the FCA’s govt settlement procedures) and was banned for 168 days from accepting deposits from new prospects.

The FCA mentioned that between 20 August 2010 and 21 July 2014, the financial institution did not put in place ample anti-money laundering (AML) techniques and in 2015 did not notify the authority of a suspected fraud. 

In August this 12 months, following regulatory motion by the Prudential Regulation Authority, SBUK cancelled its authorisation. The financial institution has since been restructured and in August was renamed Sonali Bangladesh UK Restricted. Sonali Bangladesh UK Restricted continues to commerce and an arm of the financial institution continues to supply remittance providers to British Bangladeshis.

In relation to Mr Prodhan, who now lives in Bangladesh, the FCA mentioned that between 7 June 2012 and 4 March 2014, he did not take “affordable steps” to evaluate and mitigate the AML (anti-money laundering) dangers arising from a “tradition of non-compliance amongst SBUK’s workers.”

The FCA mentioned he additionally failed to make sure that there was a transparent allocation of obligations to supervise SBUK’s branches and he additionally did not correctly oversee, handle and useful resource SBUK’s Cash Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) perform. 

The regulator mentioned that on account of the failings, SBUK’s workers didn’t recognize the necessity to adjust to AML necessities and the MLRO (Cash Laundering Regulatory Officer) perform was “ineffective” in monitoring their compliance. This led to systemic failures in SBUK’s AML techniques and controls all through the enterprise.

The FCA mentioned right now that originally it determined to impose a monetary penalty of £76,400 on Mr Prodhan in Might 2018. Mr Prodhan appealed the case to the Higher Tribunal, the place proceedings have been delayed considerably on account of the pandemic and limitations on Mr Prodhan’s capability to journey to the UK from Bangladesh, the place he now lives.  

The FCA mentioned that whereas it considers the monetary penalty to be applicable, there have been now “distinctive circumstances” for the case to be resolved by settlement, together with the shortage of any prospect of implementing cost of a monetary penalty.

Mr Prodhan has withdrawn his referral to the Higher Tribunal and agreed to simply accept a public censure.

Mark Steward, govt director of enforcement and market oversight on the FCA, mentioned: “Mr Prodhan failed to take care of correct anti-money laundering techniques and allowed a tradition of non-compliance among the many financial institution’s workers. 

“Whereas a monetary penalty was applicable on this case, extended litigation to implement a penalty that’s unlikely to be paid towards an individual who could not have the ability to journey to the UK to elucidate himself in particular person to the Higher Tribunal is neither sensible nor honest. In these distinctive circumstances, a public censure is an applicable decision of the case.”




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