Picture: REUTERS/DANISH SIDDIQUI
Picture: REUTERS/DANISH SIDDIQUI

The Prudential Authority (PA) has imposed a reduced penalty of R400,000 on the local unit of India’s Bank of Baroda for non-compliance with certain provisions of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FIC).

The PA, which supervises and enforces the FIC Act, said on Tuesday that the penalty follows an on-site inspection in 2014 that found deficiencies relating to compliance, as well as weaknesses in controls to counter potential money-laundering and terrorist financing.

In 2016, the PA conducted a follow-up inspection, which found that some deficiencies in controls remained.

Following that, the Bank of Baroda was slapped with administrative sanctions, including a combined financial penalty of R11m for non-compliance with the FIC Act and deficiencies in respect of money-laundering controls, the PA said.

Bank of Baroda lodged an appeal and the Appeal Board reduced the R11m financial penalty to R400,000, the PA said. It confirmed that the bank has now paid the penalty.

“This statement is to notify members of the public that an administrative sanction comprising a financial penalty in the amount of R400,000 has been imposed on Bank of Baroda for failure to comply with the cash threshold reporting requirement in terms of Section 28 of the FIC Act,” the regulator said.

There was no comment from Bank of Baroda.

Baroda’s SA division was thrust into the spotlight three years ago when it started working with the Indian-born Guptas after corporate SA, including all four major banks, turned its back on the family’s businesses due to reputational risks.

In June 2018, the Hawks raided the offices of Bank of Baroda’s local unit and seized documents as part of an investigation into alleged state corruption under former president Jacob Zuma.

Reuters