UK’s Largest and Oldest Islamic Bank Under Money Laundering Investigation

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Al Rayan Bank is UK’s largest and oldest Islamic Bank, owned by Qatar’s Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar Holding. It is under money laundering investigation as Al Rayan has been linked to different Extremist Organizations and is under investigation for its weak money laundering governance.

The investigation began late last year as reports were surfacing that the bank was providing financial services to numerous Extremists Organizations. At the moment the restrictions have increase on the bank for whom they can open the accounts for. UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the body that is investigating these allegations.

As per bank’s report filed in May, their Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes and controls are under review by the FCA. This investigation has led to ongoing investments into the enhanced AML processes.

The restrictions currently put on Al Rayan bank are that they cannot accept or process new deposit account applications from  a “person categorized as high risk for the purposes of financial crime risk” and “politically exposed persons” or their families and close associates.

A spokesperson for Al Rayan said it “voluntarily agreed to place a temporary restriction on new deposit accounts for individuals classified as ‘high risk’ or ‘politically exposed’,” following discussions with the FCA. The bank “is committed to ensuring that our risk management policies and practices remain appropriate for a bank of our size and complexity.”

According to FCA, banks are required to apply risk-based customer due diligence to prevent their services from being used for money laundering.

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