Bank lapses led to “unacceptable risk” of facilitating terrorist financing

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was slapped with a £5.6m fine for failing to ensure its customers and their transactions were not involved in terrorism.

It is one of the biggest fines ever imposed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) although it’s well below the record £33m fine slapped on JP Morgan securities unit for failing to protect client money.

In 2008, RBS did not check if customers were on sanction lists, which the FSA said led to “unacceptable risk” of facilitating terrorist financing.

Margaret Cole, the FSA’s director of enforcement said: "By failing to screen relevant customers and payments against the Treasury sanctions list, RBS group left itself open to the risk that it was facilitating terrorist financing."

The lapse occurred not only at RBS but also at its subsidiaries NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts & Co.