Credorax Bank has been slapped with a €51,000 fine by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) for failing to provide it with information in a timely manner.

In a notification on the FIAU’s website, the anti-money laundering unit said Credorax Bank had given delayed replies to 37 requests for information and outright failed to reply to two other requests.

The bank specialises in cross-border e-commerce and processed €4.1 billion worth of payments in 2018.

Financial institutions regulated by the FIAU are expected to reply to information requests within five days due to the often urgent nature of their investigations.

PEPs are subject to more rigorous anti-money laundering controls

The FIAU said that Credorax’s delayed replies arrived from two to 20 days late.

This failure to reply to information demands in a timely manner meant the bank had breached anti-money laundering laws, the FIAU said.

In a separate FIAU notification, the unit said that an unnamed notary had been ordered to improve anti-money laundering controls.

The FIAU found during a compliance visit that the notary did not have a documented business risk assessment and had not properly assessed the risk factors of customers.

It was also found that, in a small part of the files reviewed, the notary had failed to obtain a declaration about whether the client was a politically exposed person (PEP) or not.

RELATED STORIES

PEPs are subject to more rigorous anti-money laundering controls due to the heightened corruption risk.

In a particular case, the FIAU discovered that declarations were only obtained after a transaction had taken place.

The notary was warned that a fine could follow if the necessary anti-money laundering improvements were not made.

According to the FIAU’s last available annual report for 2018, reports from notaries only made up a small fraction of the suspicious activity reports received by the unit.

All entities falling under the unit’s remit are expected to report suspicious transactions by their clients.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us