N26 fined

Neobank has paid 4.25 million euros to the Federal Agency for failure to combat money laundering. However, the bank will not get rid of the special representative for money laundering so quickly.

In May of this year, Bafin made it official: the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority attested to Neobank N26's lack of toughness when it came to combating money laundering and sent a special representative to the fintech. Now Bafin has announced that it imposed a fine of €4.25 million in connection with the matter. The sum changed hands as early as June 14, 2021, and Bafin declared the payment legally binding. According to N26, this involved "less than 50 late filed" suspicious activity reports for money laundering from 2019 and 2020. In addition, all "measures required by BaFin to improve timely suspicious activity reports" had been implemented by N26.

With this, N26 averts the worst: Bafin had in the meantime considered imposing restrictions on N26's new business. This would not only have been bad for the fintech's customers, but above all for the company itself. N26 has been working on a new round of financing for some time now; according to estimates from the financial world, this could involve a valuation of ten billion euros. For potential backers, however, problems with Germany's highest financial regulator are less attractive.

Bafin had accused N26 of taking too few measures when it came to combating money laundering and terrorism, attesting to the fintech's "deficits in both EDP monitoring and the identification and verification" of customers. In response, N26 rebuilt its corporate structure, appointed a money laundering officer and expanded its management to include governance, risk and compliance experts. The fintech did not come up with the idea entirely on its own: Bafin had ordered "adequate staffing and technical/organisational resources" in terms of anti-money laundering.


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