Abu Dhabi fines Wise £310,000 over weak anti-money laundering controls


Money transfer giant Wise fined £310,000 in Abu Dhabi over weak anti-money laundering controls

Wise suffered a fresh blow as it was fined £310,000 by regulators in Abu Dhabi over failures in its anti-money laundering controls.

The money transfer giant’s division in the United Arab Emirates failed to meet the standards of the regulator which fined it.

The UAE watchdog did not identify any instances of money laundering through the platform and reduced Wise’s penalty for cooperating with the investigation.

Fined: Money transfer giant Wise’s division in the United Arab Emirates failed to meet the standards of the regulator which fined it

But it said Wise did not set up and maintain ‘adequate’ systems to meet anti-money laundering standards. 

Breaches included the failure to identify and verify the source of high-risk customers’ funds. It also did not consider nationality as part of its risk-based assessment of customers.

Wise shares rose 0.3 per cent, or 1.2p, to 485.3p.

The fine is the latest setback for the financial technology firm which has struggled since its bumper listing on the London Stock Exchange last year.

Wise, formerly called Transferwise, was valued at around £8billion when it floated last July and was the biggest tech firm ever to have listed on the market.

The firm – founded in 2011 to help people transfer money around the globe more cheaply and easily – highlighted that no instances of money laundering or financial crime were found by the regulator in Abu Dhabi.

A spokesman said: ‘Safety and security are of paramount importance and we have robust controls in place to verify customers and to detect and prevent any potentially suspicious activity.’

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