ABN Amro dedicates 2,000 workers to fighting money laundering

ABN Amro logo on a building in Rotterdam
ABN Amro logo on a building in RotterdamPhoto: Maarten_Zeehandelaar/DepositPhotos

ABN Amro currently has over 2 thousand full time jobs dedicated to the detection of financial crimes like money laundering, CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen said when revealing the bank's quarterly figures. In the fourth quarter of 2019, ABN Amro made 316 million euros in net profit. For all of 2019, the bank's profits amounted to over 2 billion euros.

In August last year, Dutch central bank DNB reprimanded ABN Amro for not having its client files in order, and ordered the bank to screen all 5 million of its existing private customers for signs of financial crimes. A month later, the Public Prosecution Service announced that it was investigating ABN Amro for money laundering and terrorism financing. The bank was suspected of reporting suspicious transactions late or not at all.

Van Dijkhuizen wrote that the equivalent of over two thousand full-time workers are employed to detect financial crime occurring at the bank. "We are making progress in bringing our client files in order and we expect to complete this by 2022. We are using artificial intelligence and robotics to improve effectiveness and efficiency," Van Dijkhuizen said. "No new information is available about the investigation of the Public Prosecution Service.

In the coming years, the bank will continue to focus on costs cutting. The IT transformation is already reaping benefits, he said. "These cost savings make a major contribution to compensating for the rising costs of the detection of financial crimes," Van Dijkhuizen said. 

Despite cutbacks and the benefits of the IT transformation, ABN Amro still expects the fight against financial crimes to push its costs to around 5.1 billion euros this year