Nov 27, 2015 06:12 AM EST

Barclays Walks On Thin Ice After Britain Banking Watchdog Fines £72M For Funding Criminal Activity, Terrorism?

Barclays is currently walking on thin ice. The Banking giant has apparently been fined millions and millions of pounds for a controversy that involved its possible funding of criminal activity or terrorism in 2011.

The London-headquartered British multinational banking and financing company was fined by Britain's banking watchdog with a huge sum amounting to £72 million or $109 million. 

According to Business Insider, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fined Barclays because it failed to ensure that the huge deal it had four years ago was not used for questionable funding of terrorism.

While the massive fine was already a huge blow to Barclays, the FCA added insult to injury by releasing a damning document about what the case was primarily about.

As per the document, Barclays struck a deal that allowed the creation of a £1.88 billion or $2.84 million complex provided the group of politically connected, wealthy individuals will pay for it regularly for a couple of decades. The identities of the individuals were concealed that even the FCA does not know them.

The deal was also hidden from the public, plus Barclays did not properly conduct an inspection of the people involved who were believed to be politically high risk, as per the BBC.

FCA noted that Barclays failed to subject the individuals to greater lengths of scrutiny to minimize the risk of financial crime. And although there was no such crime, Barclays' failure to apply high level checks on the individuals involved as opposed to lower-risk clients who were subject to greater scrutiny tainted the name of the company.

According to Bloomberg, the officials of Barclays simply "relied on printouts from publicly available Internet pages" instead of doing an in-depth and first-hand check on the clients' wealth.

University of the West of England professor in financial crime Nicholas Ryder said, the fine was "yet another dark day not only for the bank, but for the U.K.'s banking sector."

Ryder added: "The alleged conduct from the bank shows a complete lack of compliance from within the institution and even a disregard for even the basic of requirements." 

In the face of this controversy, Barclays issued a statement on Thursday saying, "The FCA made no finding that Barclays facilitated any financial crime in relation to the transaction or the clients on whose behalf it was executed."

The statement continued: "Barclays has cooperated fully with the FCA throughout and continues to apply significant resources and training to ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements."

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