UK fines Barclays for lax oversight on financial crime

LONDON - British authorities have fined Barclays 72 million pounds ($108 million) for failing to safeguard against the risk that the bank would be used to facilitate financial crime.

The Financial Conduct Authority said Thursday that the fine stemmed from a transaction of 1.8 billion pounds for ultra-high-net-worth individuals in 2011 and 2012. The FCA says the people involved should have been subject to a higher level of due diligence because they were prominent people in public life.

The FCA did not find that the transaction itself involved a crime, but that Barclays failed to exercise due diligence in carrying it out.

Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, says Barclays "overlooked obvious red flags to win new business and generate significant revenue. This is wholly unacceptable."

"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," the bank said in a statement.