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Banks 'processed £600m in Russian money-laundering scam' 





  • As much as £65bn could have been moved out of Russia between 2010 and 2014 
  • 1,920 transactions went through UK banks and 373 through US banks 
  • Records obtained by the Organised Crime and Corrupting Reporting Project 

By Fionn Hargreaves For Mailonline

Published: 17:58 EDT, 20 March 2017 | Updated: 17:58 EDT, 20 March 2017

Some of the UK's top banks allegedly processed around £600 million in a multibillion-pound Russian money-laundering scam.

High street names including HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Coutts are among those involved, The Guardian reported.

More than £16 billion and maybe as much as £65 billion was moved out of Russia between 2010 and 2014, the paper said.

Some of the UK's top banks, including HSBC (pictured), the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays (pictured) and Coutts, allegedly processed around £600 million in a multibillion-pound Russian money laundering scam Some of the UK's top banks, including HSBC (pictured), the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays (pictured) and Coutts, allegedly processed around £600 million in a multibillion-pound Russian money laundering scam

Some of the UK's top banks, including HSBC (pictured), the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays (pictured) and Coutts, allegedly processed around £600 million in a multibillion-pound Russian money laundering scam

More than £16 billion and maybe as much as £65 billion was moved out of Russia between 2010 and 2014, the paper said. Pictured, Coutts bank in London More than £16 billion and maybe as much as £65 billion was moved out of Russia between 2010 and 2014, the paper said. Pictured, Coutts bank in London

More than £16 billion and maybe as much as £65 billion was moved out of Russia between 2010 and 2014, the paper said. Pictured, Coutts bank in London

Banking records detailing the scheme were reportedly obtained by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Novaya Gazeta.

The documents detail around 70,000 transactions, including 1,920 totalling nearly £600 million that went through UK banks and 373 through US banks, according to The Guardian.

A Barclays spokesman said: 'Barclays complies with the rules and regulations in all the jurisdictions in which it operates and has systems and controls in place to mitigate the risk of the bank being used to facilitate financial crime.

'This includes risk-based systems and procedures to monitor ongoing customer activity, which we constantly review, and procedures for reporting matters to the relevant law enforcement authorities as appropriate.

'In addition, through a number of industry initiatives, Barclays partners closely with global law enforcement in the fight against financial crime.'

A spokesman for HSBC said: 'The bank has systems and processes in place to identify suspicious activity and report it to the appropriate government authorities.

The documents detail around 70,000 transactions, including 1,920 totalling nearly £600 million that went through UK banks and 373 through US banks. Pictured, RBS in London The documents detail around 70,000 transactions, including 1,920 totalling nearly £600 million that went through UK banks and 373 through US banks. Pictured, RBS in London

The documents detail around 70,000 transactions, including 1,920 totalling nearly £600 million that went through UK banks and 373 through US banks. Pictured, RBS in London

'This case highlights the need for greater information sharing between the public and private sectors, each of whom holds important information the other does not.'

RBS said: 'We are committed to combating financial crime and money laundering in line with our regulations and have controls and safeguards in place to identify, assess, monitor and mitigate these risks.' 

A UBS spokesman said: 'UBS applies a robust money-laundering prevention framework across its business operations globally, consistent with locally applicable regulations.' 

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