HONG KONG, April 11 The Hong Kong Monetary
Authority (HKMA) said on Tuesday it had ordered the local branch
of private bank Coutts & Co Ltd to pay a fine of HK$7 million
($900,808.15) for breaches in anti-money laundering and
HKMA said its action followed a probe that found between
April 2012 and June 2015 Coutts failed to set up and maintain
procedures for determining if "its customers or the beneficial
owners of its customers were politically exposed persons".
The regulator's probe also found that Coutts's Hong Kong
branch had also failed to identify politically exposed persons
(PEP) despite relevant information being publicly available, it
said in its order.
The private bank also failed to follow up promptly on "PEP
alerts received from a commercially available database" to which
Coutts subscribed, the order said, adding the firm has taken
remedial measures to address the deficiencies identified.
Royal Bank of Scotland sold the majority of Coutts'
international assets to Union Bancaire Privee (UBP) in March
2015 after splitting the bank, best known as banker to Britain's
Queen Elizabeth, into a British and a Swiss-based arm.
A spokesperson for UBP could not immediately be reach for
($1 = 7.7708 Hong Kong dollars)
(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Michelle Price, editing by