Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority Undertakes Probe Into Barclays

Britain's Financial Conduct Authority Undertakes Probe Into Barclays
Image sources: The Guardian/BusinessTech

The Financial Times released a report on February 10, which states that Barclays PLC is being investigated by the United Kingdom’s financial regulator for suspected persistent failings in its compliance and anti-money laundering systems. 

According to people with knowledge of the matter, last year, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a notice requesting an independent review of the bank’s systems after a number of anti-money laundering incidents had surfaced.

People familiar with the matter told the Financial Times that individually the cases had been relatively minor, however, the volume of these cases was a matter of concern.

The FCA wrote Section 166 letters to Matt Hammerstein, who runs the ring-fenced UK retail and wealth division, and Alistair Currie, previously head of corporate banking. Section 166 or a skilled persons review refers to when an external accountancy or law firm investigates and produces a report with recommendations for improvements. These are a part of the FCA’s supervisory measures. If any wrongdoing is found in the FCA’s review, then the regulator’s enforcement division takes charge.

The bank is in the process of reporting its annual earnings next week, and has not disclosed the latest FCA’s Section 166 requirement in its previous filings. Barclays was in the news last year when they were fined £8.4 million ($10.16 million) by the Payment Systems Regulator for not giving retailers full information about payment card costs.

The bank has agreed to pay the US Securities and Exchange Commission $361 million and set aside £450 million to compensate investors after accidentally selling $17.7 billion of structured financial products it did not have authorisation for.

Barclays and the FCA have both not provided the Financial Times or any other publication with a comment over the matter.


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