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FSA Fines Online Forex Currency Trader Alpari

Financial Services Authority (FSA) of UK has imposed a financial penalty of GBP140,000 on Alpari UK, an online provider of foreign exchange services for speculative trading, for failing to have in place adequate anti-money laundering systems and controls.

FSA regulated firms should carry out risk assessments of the money laundering and financial crime risks that they are exposed to. However, between September 2006 and November 2008, Alpari is said to have failed to carry out thorough assessments and, as a result, put the firm at risk of being used to further financial crime.

As Alpari’s MLRO during this period, with responsibility for compliance oversight and money laundering reporting, Sudipto Chattopadhyay, the former money laundering reporting officer (MLRO) of Alpari, was accountable for these breaches and therefore also received a financial penalty for the failings.

Mr Chattopadhyay received a financial penalty of GBP14,000. He has also given an undertaking that he will not make an application to the FSA to be approved for a compliance oversight or MLRO role for three years.

Margaret Cole, director of enforcement at FSA, said: “The FSA expects firms to assess the financial crime risks to which they are exposed properly. The FSA also expects expanding businesses to commit sufficient resource to their compliance and anti-money laundering functions. Alpari failed to operate and maintain adequate money laundering systems and controls, leaving it open to the risk of financial crime.

“These penalties serve as a reminder of the importance of maintaining effective anti-money laundering controls, something we have repeatedly stressed. All firms should ensure that they minimize the risk of exposure to financial crime and we will continue to be extremely vigilant in this area.”