Dutch bank ABN AMRO to check customers for financial crimes

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Netherlands’ central bank has ordered ABN AMRO to check all of its retail customers for possible financial crimes as part of a government crackdown.

ABN AMRO revealed the order Wednesday alongside second-quarter results that showed its net profit edged up 1% from the same period last year to 693 million euros ($775 million).

The bank’s CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen said in a statement that he welcomes the Dutch government’s plans to tackle financial crime. He said the central bank’s recent order to check all customers will cost ABN AMRO 114 million euros and that sanctions such as a fine “may be imposed by the authorities.”

The bank said it will “substantially” increase the number working in its so-called customer due diligence program. Currently it employs around 1,000 people.

“In general, across the bank we will take all remedial actions necessary to ensure full compliance with legislation,” Van Dijkhuizen said.

Last September, Dutch bank ING paid 775 million euros to settle a case linked to its failure to adequately prevent money laundering.

The country’s financial prosecution service said ING had for years failed to carry out adequate background checks on clients or sufficiently investigate suspicious transactions.

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