Wise Plc allowed a customer to withdraw £250 ($317) from a business account while they were subject to Russian sanctions, according to the UK government.
(Bloomberg) — Wise Plc allowed a customer to withdraw £250 ($317) from a business account while they were subject to Russian sanctions, according to the UK government.
The firm permitted the withdrawal in June last year, shortly after the unidentified customer had been added to the Russian sanctions regime, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation said in a statement Thursday. OFSI said the incident wasn’t serious enough to impose a fine.
It’s the first time the agency has weighed in on a Russian sanctions breach since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. Shares in Wise briefly fell as much as 5.6% on the news before recovering.
Wise’s screening process flagged the customer’s name and their account was suspended, but the firm did not restrict activity on the debit card associated with the account, according to OFSI.
“We took immediate steps to suspend our services to Russia as soon as sanctions were enacted in response to its invasion of Ukraine,” Wise said in a statement. “We take this matter very seriously.”
The firm told OFSI it had a policy not to suspend cards “because of a high false positive rate for sanctions alerts” and its requirement to treat customers fairly, according to the statement.
“Despite the low breach value, OFSI considered that Wise’s systems and controls, specifically its policy surrounding debit card payments, were inappropriate,” the government office said.
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