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UK banks complicit in Nigerian corruption, report says

A report by the anti-corruption monitor Global Witness has accused four UK banks of accepting millions of pounds from Nigerian politicians accused of corruption.

Global Witness said the banks - HSBC, Barclays, Natwest and Royal Bank of Scotland - took questionable deposits from two Nigerian governors between 1999 and 2005.

HSBC said it was deeply disappointed by the "misguided" allegations.

The other banks declined to comment.

HSBC said: "As a bank that has been at the very forefront of developing global PEP (politically exposed persons) guidance over the last decade, rest assured, rigorous and robust compliance procedures were followed diligently."

Global Witness also accused the UK regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), of failing to take action against the banks.

The FSA declined to comment.

Global Witness acknowledged that regulation in the UK might have moved on since 2005, but said there were still gaps in the system.

It said its report was based on documents provided by the Nigerian government to a court in London.

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