ING has put an end to a case of money laundering by agreeing to pay a fine of 775 million euros in a settlement agreement reached with the Netherlands Prosecutor's Office.
The fine follows an investigation related to defects in the prevention of money laundering and corrupt practices in its Dutch subsidiary, ING Netherlands, between 2010 and 2016. The agreement reflects ‘the seriousness, scope and duration of the deficiencies detected,’ and includes another 100 million euros as restitution to cover the costs of the review. During the investigations conducted no evidence or evidence was found that employees or former employees of the bank actively cooperated with customers who used the banking services for potential criminal activities, nor is there evidence that employees or former employees of the bank have benefited. The bank stated the implementation of policies for the prevention of economic and financial crimes had resulted in the termination of thousands of ING client accounts during the investigation period’ However, deficiencies were found that had allowed some clients to use their accounts for money-laundering and other activities for a number of years.
ING has since taken a series of steps, including financial penalties and suspension, against a number of employees and former employees in senior management positions with responsibility for the safeguarding and enforcement of the bank’s economic and financial crime prevention policies. The bank said, although the fine has no long-term impact, ‘these amounts will have a combined impact of 775 million euros on the net results of ING Group in the third quarter of 2018.’ Ralph Hamers, ceo of ING, said ‘as a bank we have an obligation to ensure that our operations meet the highest standards, especially in regard to criminals misusing the financial system. Failure to meet these standards is unacceptable and ING takes full responsibility.’