The Netherlands’ financial market regulator AFM has issued a €2m fine to Robeco for failing to sufficiently check its clients for money laundering.
Dutch financial institutions are required to report suspected transactions with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Dutch Justice Ministry, but Robeco and its subsidiaries reported relatively few such transactions in comparison with other financial firms.
Of Robeco’s more than 250,000 clients, only two clients (who had opened their accounts in 1986 and 1994) had received the risk classification “provisionally unacceptable”.
This raised suspicion with regulator AFM, which proceeded to investigate the matter. It has now concluded that the Rotterdam-based asset manager’s checks on clients and their transactions had significant shortcomings. The compliance failings occurred between 2018 and 2020, and all concerned retail investor accounts.
Last year, Robeco had already stopped onboarding new private clients under pressure from the AFM over its failing anti-money laundering policies.
Since, the asset manager has parted ways with a small number of clients, a spokesperson for the firm told financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad. It’s not clear if and when Robeco can start taking on new clients again.
“We are waiting for AFM’s appraisal of the measures we have implemented to improve the process,” according to the Robeco spokesperson.
Last year, the Danish Financial Services Authority ordered pension provider PFA to supply information on customers using a certain pension product, following a money-laundering inspection it carried out in May, and issued the DKK730bn (€98bn) provider with four injunctions.