Capital One hit with $100M fine over AML deficiencies

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WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Tuesday that it has levied a $100 million civil money penalty against Capital One for deficiencies in its anti-money-laundering program.

The penalty stems from a consent order the agency filed against Capital One in 2015, charging that the bank had failed to adopt and implement a compliance program that met anti-money-laundering and Bank Secrecy Act program requirements due to an “inadequate system of internal controls and ineffective testing,” according to the agency's consent order.

OCC also said that Capital One failed to detect and report on certain suspicious activities, lacked an enterprise-wide AML risk assessment and had systemic deficiencies in its customer due diligence processes, transaction monitoring systems and quality assurance programs for its remote deposit capture services.

Capital One had also “failed to timely achieve compliance” with the consent order OCC issued in 2015, the agency said.

A spokesperson for the bank said the fine related to past activity.

“[This penalty] emanates primarily from prior banking relationships with certain check cashing service providers — a business we made the decision to exit in 2014,” a spokesperson for Capital One said. “Since that time, we have worked diligently with our bank regulators to strengthen our processes and internal controls to ensure we address any concerns regarding our BSA/AML compliance processes.”

Capital One said in 2014 that it would stop doing business with payday lenders and check cashers, saying that those businesses no longer fit into the bank’s strategic priorities.

In 2015, Capital One also received requests for information from the Justice and Treasury departments about its AML program and check casher clients.

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