Dutch bank ABN AMRO disclosed it had become embroiled in a money laundering scandal just four months after abandoning plans to launch a bitcoin wallet because of the regulatory risks.

Shares in the state-controlled bank slumped 12% in Amsterdam after it revealed in a press release it was being investigated by the Dutch public prosecutor over alleged failures to check on clients. The press release said:

On Wednesday 25 September 2019, the Dutch public prosecutor informed ABN AMRO that the bank is the subject of an investigation relating to requirements under the Act on the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism. ABN AMRO will cooperate fully with the investigation.

There were no further details about what kind of transactions were involved, nor whether cryptocurrency had been used.

Preventing Money Laundering

The disclosure came just days after the bank announced it was teaming up with Dutch peers ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank and Volksbank to discuss setting up a joint organisation aimed at preventing money-laundering.

Chief executive Kees van Dijkhuizen said on September 17:

Preventing money-laundering and terrorist financing is one of our top priorities. I'm very pleased that we're taking the first step, together with the other banks, towards potentially setting up an organisation to monitor payment transactions.

In May, The Next Web reported that ABN AMRO was abandoning plans to lauch a custodial cryptocurrency wallet for its clients, saying that because of their unregulated nature, cryptocurrencies were too risky for its clients to invest in.


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