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Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) has been sanctioned with a fine of N4.21 billion by regulatory bodies in various countries where it operates, including the UK government, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The Nigerian-headquartered bank, which has subsidiaries in the UK, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania, was found to have committed multiple market infractions in 2022.
Of particular note is the sanction imposed on GTCO’s UK subsidiary, which was fined N4.05 billion for deficient anti-money laundering (AML) controls between 2014 and 2017, the highest penalty levied against the bank in 2022.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in a statement on it’s website fined Guaranty Trust Bank (UK) Limited £7.67 million for serious weaknesses in its AML systems and controls during the relevant period during which the bank allegedly failed to undertake adequate customer risk assessments and document the money laundering risks posed by its customers.
The 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.”
GTCO was also fined by regulatory bodies in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania.
In Nigeria, the bank was fined N20 million for failing the 2021 risk asset examination, N21.25 million for the 2021 CBN prospective employee clearance review, N10 million for failing the 2022 consumer protection review, and N67.35 million for CBN’s review infraction.
In Ghana, the bank was sanctioned N2.89 million for inaccurate submission of FX End-Day Transaction Return and N7.7 billion for six impaired loans.
In Kenya, GTCO was fined N7.26 million for non-compliance with banking act 28/50(1) and N3.99 million for non-compliance with CBK cash reserve requirement.
In Tanzania, the bank was fined N180,000 for the late rendition of the daily liquidity report.
Other entities affiliated with GTCO were also sanctioned.
The GTPENSION manager was fined N200,000 for the registration of two FGN Employees without complete documentation and N3 million for the violation of the minimum credit rating requirement.
The GT fund manager was fined N520,000 for the issuance of units over the registered units with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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