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Online payment company receives €370k fine for ‘significant shortcomings’ in AML practices; plans to appeal on proportionality grounds

Paysera fined for not following AML laws

By Dan Byrne for AMLi

A FINE OF €370,000 has been handed down to Lithuanian online payment company Paysera LT for failing to comply with AML rules.

The fine, issued by the Bank of Lithuania, was decided after a two-month inspection revealed “significant shortcomings related to compliance and anti-money laundering and terrorist financing requirements.”

Paysera LT has challenged the scale of the fine.

According to the Bank of Lithuania, the company had failed to properly assess money laundering and terrorism financing risks. It also failed to implement adequate standards in customer identification and due diligence, in line with current Lithuanian law.

“The company has failed to ensure efficient internal control and provide sufficient human resources,” the bank said in a statement. “Its staff members were not properly acquainted with their functions and responsibilities.”

The scale of the fine was agreed following an examination of both the rule violations and mitigating standards.

However Paysera LT plans to appeal the penalty, claiming the fine of €370,000 is large enough to match the company’s three-month net profit in 2020.

“Risk management is a continuous and never-ending process,” said Vytenis Morkunas, Paysera LT CEO, who stressed that financial establishments like his – by their very nature – would end up operating in a high-risk zone, and frequently be the target of fraudsters.

“I see the audit results as a good stress-test,” Morkunas told the Baltic Times. “It showed former procedural cracks… but we disagree with the proportionality of the fine size as we have already eliminated the violations.”

He also highlighted the fact that the fine was a way to improve the company’s processes around AML, and not a punishment for actually facilitating the transfer of any dirty money.

He claimed that there had been no factual cases of clients laundering money through Paysera LT channels. 

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