|05 December, 2019

ING close to settling money-laundering probe in Italy - sources

Last year ING, the Netherlands' largest financial services provider, admitted criminals had been able to launder money through its accounts

The logo of ING bank is pictured at the entrance of the group's main office in Brussels, Belgium September 5, 2017.

The logo of ING bank is pictured at the entrance of the group's main office in Brussels, Belgium September 5, 2017.

REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

MILAN- Dutch bank ING Groep NV's Italian business has reached a provisional deal with Milan prosecutors to settle a money-laundering investigation by paying 30 million euros ($33 million), two sources familiar with the matter said.

The proposed settlement, known as an "agreed penalty", has yet to be confirmed by a judge but it has already won the backing of the prosecutors, the sources said.

"We are in discussions with Italian judicial authorities concerning these conclusions and related investigation. Meanwhile we do not comment", the bank said in a statement.

Last year ING, the Netherlands' largest financial services provider, admitted criminals had been able to launder money through its accounts and agreed to pay 775 million euros to settle the case in its home country. 

The Italian investigation was launched at the beginning of this year after Milan prosecutors received requests for assistance from several other European countries, and in particular from Germany, where hundreds of people had reported online scams, the sources added.

The alleged scams investigated by Milan prosecutors were carried out from 2016 to 2018 using various online accounts and the stolen money ended up in about 310 current accounts at ING in Milan, the sources said.

ING Italy was put under investigation for money laundering in March, alleging it lacked adequate control systems and failed to prevent money laundering transactions through its accounts.

Last March Bank of Italy, which had carried out its own inspection, told ING that it would not be allowed to take on new customers in Italy if it did not improve its monitoring of client behaviour. 

($1 = 0.9073 euros)

(Editing by Silvia Aloisi and Christina Fincher) ((emilio.parodi@thomsonreuters.com; +39 02 66129523; Reuters Messaging:))

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