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GTCO In Trouble! UK Govt, CBN, SEC, Others Sanction Bank N4.2bn For Committing Market Infractions In 2022

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The UK government, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), among other agencies where it operates have sanctioned Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) a sum of N4.21billion for committing various market infractions in 2022.

GTCO with its head office in Nigeria, and subsidiaries in UK, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania was sanctioned by N4.2billion regulating bodies in these countries.

Notably, GTCO subsidiary in UK was imposed a sanction of N4.05billion for deficient AML control -2014-2017, the highest sanction imposed on the Nigeria in 2022.

It was reported that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the United Kingdom’s financial services regulator sanction Guaranty Trust Bank (UK) Limited, £7.67million for serious weaknesses in its anti-money laundering (AML) systems and controls between October 2014 and July 2019.

The FCA in a statement on its website stated that, during the relevant period, GTBank failed to undertake adequate customer risk assessments, often not assessing or documenting the money laundering risks posed by its customers.

Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, Mark Steward said: “GTBank should have acted quickly to put in place adequate AML controls following its fine in 2013 but it failed to do so. GTBank did not develop a plan that was capable of addressing its AML weaknesses, exposing it and the broader market to financial crime risks for a prolonged period.

“Firms must protect themselves and those dealing with them from financial crime risks, especially money laundering. The FCA is determined to ensure the market for financial services is safe, clean, and trusted with robust systems and controls in place to stymie financial crime. The FCA will continue to take action when these standards are not met.’

GTBank did not disputed the FCA’s findings and agreed to settle, which means it has qualified for a 30per cent discount. Without this discount, the financial penalty would have been £10,959,700.

However, the apex bank in Nigeria, imposed N20 million on the GTCO for failing 2021 risk asset examination; N21.25million for 2021 CBN prospective employee clearance review; N10million for failing 2022 consumer protection review and 67.35million for CBN’s review infraction.

In Ghana, GTCO was sanctioned N2.89million for inaccurate submission of FX End -Day Transaction Return and N7.7billion for the review of the bank’s credit portfolio showed that six (6) impaired loans N7,714,526

The banking subsidiary in Kenya was sanction N7.26million for non- compliance with banking act 28/50(1) and N3.99million for non-compliance with CBK cash reserve requirement.

Tanzania, GTCO was sanctioned N180,000 for the late rendition of daily liquidity report.

Other sanctions include: GTPENSION manager sanctioned N200,000 for registration of two FGN Employees without complete documentation and N3million for the violation of minimum credit rating requirement.

GT fund manager was sanctioned N520,000 for the issuance of units in excess of the registered units with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

First Bank

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