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ING faces regulatory action in Italy after money laundering checks

Italy's central bank has instructed the local branch of Dutch lender ING Groep NV to refrain from conducting any business with new clients, citing shortcomings in its anti-money laundering processes.

The Banca D'Italia SpA said the decision follows a four-month on-site inspection of the branch that ended in January. Dealings with existing clients will not be affected by the measure, the regulator said, adding that the ban will be lifted after ING's Italian branch has expressed commitment to rapidly implement a remediation plan to address and solve weaknesses in its money laundering compliance.

ING said it will be in touch with the central bank regarding its findings and is taking necessary steps to improve its anti-money laundering processes and management of compliance risks.

The news comes months after ING paid a record fine of €775 million to settle a Dutch money laundering investigation, prompting it to cut its bonus pool for 2018. ING was also recently linked to a Russian money laundering scheme along with Dutch peers Rabobank and ABN Amro Group NV.

ING noted that the measures in Italy come in the context of steps it took following the Dutch settlement, which were aimed at enhancing its management of compliance risks and "embed stronger awareness across the whole organization."