N26 fined 4.25 million euros for lack of money laundering control
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German financial watchdog BaFin publicly berated online bank N26 for weak anti-money laundering controls and fined the fast-growing lender € 4.25 million.
BaFin has already ordered the company, which is one of Europe’s most beloved fintechs, to step up its money laundering prevention twice since 2019. In a rare move in May, BaFin also installed a special supervisor to supervise the bank.
The fine of 4.25 million euros was paid in July but was not made public by the regulator until Wednesday. N26 said in a statement it was linked to the late filing of nearly 50 suspicious activity reports in 2019 and 2020.
The fine comes a day after Germany’s largest online bank, ING Germany, was criticized in court by a BaFin representative for being slow to respond to suspicious transactions from a customer, who by the subsequently admitted to committing large-scale insider trading.
N26, which earlier this year said it was working on a public listing, was valued at $ 3.5 billion in a 2020 funding round. It was founded in 2013 and raised nearly $ 800 million. euros from investors such as Tencent, Allianz X and Peter Thiel. . It claims to have over 7 million customers in 25 countries.
The bank said in a statement that it had already addressed the issues behind the BaFin fine. “All measures to improve suspicious activity reporting were implemented earlier this year,” N26 said, adding that it is taking its “responsibility in tackling the growing threat of global financial crime and in prevention of money laundering, very seriously “. .
In May, the BaFin urged the lender to “rectify the shortcomings in both IT monitoring and customer vigilance” and to “ensure that it has the staff, technical resources and adequate organizational structure to comply with its obligations under the anti-money laundering law ”.
N26 said it has taken “many detailed steps” to strengthen its anti-financial crime controls.