NatWest claws back bonuses from ex-staff over laundering penalty

NatWest Group Plc is clawing back bonuses from ten former staff to address the “collective failure” that led to the firm’s conviction for failing to prevent money laundering in 2021, according to Bloomberg.

The lender said in its annual report Friday the steps would include issuing reduction notices for ex-employees whose awards had been bought out by other UK banks. The measures mean the former staff are treated in the same way as those who remained at the bank, and were affected when the 2021 bonus pool was cut in response to the penalty, according to NatWest.

“We recognise that the senior executive committees drive the firm’s culture and sets its strategy, so it is appropriate that the colleagues in role when the failures occurred are impacted in the same way that the 2021 population were,” the bank said in the report, which was published alongside its full-year earnings. It didn’t say which former staff would be affected.

The bank was fined £265 million ($333 million) after pleading guilty to failing to prevent money laundering three years ago. The prosecutors laid out details of hundred of thousands of pounds being couriered in black garbage bags and branch vaults overflowing with bank notes.