The Jersey branch of a Middle Eastern bank has been fined £475,000 for failing to act when two customers made a series of ‘suspicious’ withdrawals totalling £920,000.

The case marks the first time a company has been convicted and sentenced for failing to comply with Jersey’s legislation on money laundering since 2005, local website the Bailiwick Express reported.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Jersey (ADCB Jersey) branch was accused of a single charge of failing to fully carry out its anti-money laundering duties in relation to the use of two Jersey bank accounts in the United Arab Emirates.

There is no allegation that the activity on either account amounted to money-laundering, but the branch was prosecuted for failing to adequately monitor the account activity and failing to sufficiently assess the risk of money laundering or terrorism financing, the Bailiwick Express added.

The court heard that the bank did take some steps to find out more about the transactions, but their response was not deemed sufficient to meet their Anti-Money Laundering duties.

Following the decision, Jersey’s Solicitor General Mark Temple said: “I welcome the sentence handed down by the Court which shows that Jersey, in its position as a global finance centre, is committed to combatting financial crime and ensuring that financial service providers are held to account when offences of this kind are committed.

“The sentencing today represents the culmination of a long-running investigation into the activity of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC Jersey Branch by the Law Officers’ Department’s Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit.”