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FSA Fines Bank of Scotland for Money Laundering Breaches; Westpac NZ Deploys Midas ComplianceWatch for anti-money laundering

Britain's Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined the Bank of Scotland (BoS) 1.25 million pounds ($2.3 million) for failing to keep proper customer-identification records as required by the FSA's money laundering rules. BoS is a unit of mortgage lender HBOS group.

The regulator found weaknesses in BoS' record-keeping systems and controls across its retail, corporate and business banking divisions. In over half of the sample of accounts tested in late 2002, BoS had failed to retain either a copy of the customer identification evidence or a record of where this evidence could be obtained, states the FSA.

After the failings were discovered, BoS promptly implemented a robust remedial action plan across the whole of HBOS Group. This led to an increase in compliance rates from January 2003, and the FSA is satisfied that the bank has deal with the issue appropriately, according to the statement.


Westpac NZ (New Zealand) has gone live with Midas Compliance Watch from Misys Wholesale Banking Systems, becoming one of the first banks in the Asian/Australasian markets to comply with anti-money-laundering processes.

Compliance Watch will give the bank the ability to screen all inward and outward financial messages for individuals, companies or organizations appearing on published lists of known or suspected criminals and terrorists.

In addition to national legislation passed by New Zealand, the bank is making an effort to comply with global standards published by FATF (Financial Action Task Force).

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