ING shares fall amid €775 million fine in money laundering case

ING shares fall amid €775 million fine in money laundering case

ING shares are lower Tuesday, as the Dutch bank has been fined €775 million by Dutch financial crime prosecutors. The bank was accused of having poor financial controls that made it easy for its customers to launder money, between 2010 and 2016.

ING acknowledges its shortcomings and said it is taking numerous steps to improve the issues that have been identified.

By 1025 BST, ING shares were 3.25% lower at €11.31. The stock has been moving mainly lower in recent weeks.

ING fine

The Dutch prosecutors in the case said ING failed to vet its applicants thoroughly enough and also didn’t notice, or follow up on any accounts of unusual financial transactions.

“Clients for years were able to make use of ING bank accounts for criminal activities pretty much undisturbed,” Dutch prosecutor said in a statement. “ING should have seen that the money streams that ran through those bank accounts possibly were coming from crime.”

ING’s statement is a clear admission of guilt in this case. The bank said it has agreed to pay the fine and has already taken measures against former employees for their part in the wrongdoings and shortcomings the bank has displayed.

“As a bank we have the obligation to ensure that our operations meet the highest standards, especially where it comes to preventing criminals from misusing the financial system,” said CEO Ralph Hamers. “Not meeting those standards is unacceptable and ING takes full responsibility.”

“We take this very seriously. We are taking a number of robust measures to strengthen our compliance risk management and support a strong risk culture and will be making further improvements,” ING’s Netherlands CEO, Vincent van den Boogert, said.

Fine to be booked as a special item

ING also said that the payment of the fined would be booked in the third quarter results, as a special item.

“The settlement announced today does not affect the strength of ING, the execution of our strategy nor our commitment to our customers, shareholders and other stakeholders,” the Dutch bank said

By Ilona Billington
Ilona is a freelance writer and editor with over 15 years experience reporting and writing about UK and European economics, real estate, financial markets and central banks.
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