FCA slaps ADM Investor Services with £6.47m fine
Broker ADM Investor Services has been fined £6.47m by the financial services watchdog for failing to have adequate anti-money laundering systems and controls.
The nature of ADMISI's business and client base presented "potentially high levels of money laundering risk" because of its business model, according to the Financial Conduct Authority, as did the geographical location of its customers, the proportion of its business involving high-risk clients and the fact that it had had "politically exposed persons" as clients.
The FCA previously raised concerns with ADMISI in 2014 about its AML systems, including the absence of a formal process to classify customers by risk, and had expected ADMISI to make improvements. However, during a 2016 firm visit, the FCA found significant failings remained.
After the 2016 visit, ADMISI agreed to requirements, including one not to take on business from high-risk customers in order to lessen the threat of the firm being used to launder money or finance crime. By the end of October 2016, ADMISI had introduced AML policies and procedures to address the concerns identified. After further remedial action, the requirements were lifted in January 2018.
Therese Chambers, joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: "All financial firms need to have effective anti-money laundering checks in place. ADM Investor Services’ failures put it at risk of being used to facilitate financial crime. These failings continued even after the firm had received clear warnings on the need to improve its systems."
Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com