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British authorities fine PaineWebber

PaineWebber is now part of UBS

(Keystone Archive)

British regulatory authorities have fined the brokerage firm, PaineWebber, now owned by UBS, for weaknesses in its internal controls which included inadequate measures to prevent money laundering.

The Financial Services Authority fined the company £350,000 (SFr840,000) and also ordered it to pay £10,000 in costs. It said the fine was the second biggest ever imposed.

The FSA said PaineWebber had been severely reprimanded for failures between January 1, 1998 and December 15, 1999. The period in question was before UBS acquired the company last year.

"The firm exposed itself to the risk of money laundering although fortunately no instances of money laundering have been identified," said an FSA statement. It added that there was no evidence that customers had been harmed.

The biggest fine ever imposed by the FSA was a £375,000 penalty on metals trader Rudolf Wolff for its part in a 1996 copper scandal.

swissinfo with agencies


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