The Dutch public prosecutor has opened an investigation into ABN Amro concerning possible money laundering and terrorist financing carried out through the accounts of its clients.
“The Dutch Prosecutor informed ABN Amro that the bank is under investigation in relation to the requirements under the law on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing,” the bank said in a statement on Thursday.
“ABN Amro will cooperate fully with the investigation,” said the bank, which was informed of the investigation on Wednesday.
The Dutch lender has failed to report unusual transactions or failed to do so on time, according to the public prosecutor, which also accuses the bank of putting insufficient checks in place to verify the identity of its clients.
The judicial investigation was initiated following a report by the Dutch Central Bank, which last month had ordered ABN Amro to review the accounts of its five million private clients.
The bank did not have its files sufficiently up to date, so it could not correctly assess the risk that any of its clients were committing crimes, according to the Dutch Central Bank, raising the possibility of sanctions.
ABN Amro has since spent 220 million euros to reinforce its compliance procedures and tripled the number of its staff working in the areas of financial crimes and the fight against money laundering.
The Dutch State is the majority shareholder of ABN Amro, owning 56 percent of the shares.
The Dutch finance minister, Wopke Hoekstra, called the investigation “worrying” but said he would not want to anticipate the outcome of investigation and welcomed the bank’s cooperation with the authorities, according to the NLTIMES news website.
Another Dutch bank, ING, reached an agreement with the public prosecutor last year to pay 775 million euros for negligence, after after a similar investigation discovered that some clients used their accounts to launder hundreds of millions of euros between 2010 and 2016.
Rabobank was also fined one million euros in February for not making enough checks on its customers.