Nickel, a BNP Paribas neobank, sanctioned for LCB-FT deficiencies

Financière des Paiements Électroniques (FPE), the BNP Paribas subsidiary responsible for the Nickel banking service, has been sanctioned by the ACPR’s Commission des Sanctions (CdS). The decision, published on Friday April 28, resulted in a reprimand and a fine of one million euros for failure to comply with anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (LCB-FT) regulations.

The CdS decision highlights eight infringements, including incomplete risk classification, inadequate transaction monitoring, a deficient asset freeze system and shortcomings in internal control measures. In addition, shortcomings were noted in the enhanced examinations and suspicious transaction reports, which were incomplete and late. In addition to these shortcomings, it is interesting to note that the CdS paid particular attention to compliance with asset freeze measures, although the ACPR audit took place between July 2020 and January 2021 and does not reflect a strengthening of regulatory controls following the sanctions against Russia in 2022.

Nickel, created in 2014 by the FPE and acquired by BNP Paribas in 2017, offers banking services accessible without income requirements, notably in tobacconists’ shops. Last January, Nickel announced that it had reached three million customers in France. In its decision, the CdS stresses that the FPE, although it states that it is aware that its services do not exempt it from taking into account the risks to which it is exposed, due to its contribution to banking inclusion, requires particular vigilance.

Solutions are available to ensure rapid compliance with the French Monetary and Financial Code, particularly in terms of KYC (Know Your Customer) and LCB-FT (Anti-Money Laundering). An automated KYC remediation process can help speed up this process: by quickly targeting customers requiring vigilance (updating their data).

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Pierre Pontier General Manager, Namirial France

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