The fall out from the 1MDB saga continues to reverberate with news that the Monetary Authority of Singapore has ordered a 10-year prohibition against the former director of Goldman Sachs, with immediate effect.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on its website that it has issued a 10-year Prohibition Order (PO) against Tim Leissner, a former director of Goldman Sachs (Singapore) (GS S’pore).
MAS has also served notice of its intention to issue POs against three individuals who were investigated by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) on 1MDB-related matters, and consequently convicted by the Courts in Singapore.
Others Served Notice
The three individuals are Jens Fred Sturzenegger, former branch manager of Falcon Private Bank, Singapore branch (Falcon Bank), as well as Yak Yew Chee and Yvonne Seah Yew Foong, both of whom were former employees of BSI Bank (BSI Bank).
Given the gravity of their misconduct, MAS intends to issue lifetime POs against Sturzenegger and Yak, and a 15-year PO against Ms Seah.
In December 2016, MAS served notice of its intention to issue a PO against Leissner and invited him to submit written representations as to why a PO should not be made against him.
Leissner was found to have issued in June 2015 an unauthorised letter to a financial institution based in Luxembourg, and to have made false statements on behalf of Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C., without the firm’s knowledge.
Following careful consideration of the representations made by the former Goldman’s man and the relevant facts, MAS decided to issue a PO for a period of 10 years against Leissner with effect from 13 March 2017.
This means that Leissner will be prohibited for a period of 10 years from: (i) performing any regulated activity under the Securities and Futures Act and (ii) taking part, directly or indirectly, in the management of any capital market services firm in Singapore.
Jens Fred Sturzenegger
MAS has also served a notice of its intention to issue a PO against Sturzenegger, who was the Branch Manager of Falcon Bank from August 2011 to October 2016.
As Branch Manager he was responsible for ensuring the sound management of Falcon Bank and its compliance with regulations, notices and directives issued by MAS, as well as any other relevant laws and regulations.
On 11 January 2017, Sturzenegger (pictured) was convicted on several charges, which included (i) consenting to Falcon Bank’s failure to file any suspicious transaction report on the inflows into Falcon Bank; (ii) failing to disclose information on suspicious outflows from Falcon Bank; and (iii) furnishing false information to MAS and CAD to cover up his relationship with Low Taek Jho as well as his knowledge of Low’s involvement in the bank accounts maintained by Falcon Bank.
Yak Yew Chee and Yvonne Seah
MAS has served notice of its intention to issue POs against Yak and Seah, former representatives of BSI Bank.
Yak was a senior private banker with BSI Bank between 2010 and 2016 and held the designation of Managing Director. He was the relationship manager for Low and Low’s father. As the second most senior private banker after Yak in the latter’s team, Seah closely assisted him in managing the relationship with Low and his father.
On 11 November 2016, Yak was convicted on charges of forging reference letters to entities based in Switzerland, using the letterhead of BSI Bank. On 16 December 2016, Seah was convicted for intentionally aiding Yak to forge reference letters.
The letters were issued to misrepresent Low’s net worth or conceal the source of Low’s fund transfers. Yak and Seah had also failed to report the suspicious movement of funds by Low.
Banned From The Industry
The proposed POs will prohibit Sturzenegger and Yak for life, and Seah for a period of 15 years, from:
(i) performing any regulated activity or acting as a representative in respect of any regulated activity as stipulated under the Securities and Futures Act;
(ii) taking part, directly or indirectly, in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of, any holder of a capital market services licence or any exempt person under the Securities and Futures Act.
(iii) providing any financial advisory service as stipulated under the Financial Advisers Act; and
(iv) taking part, directly or indirectly, in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of, a licensed financial adviser or exempt financial adviser under the Financial Advisers Act.
Trust and Confidence in Singapore
«MAS will not tolerate conduct by any finance professional that threatens to undermine trust and confidence in Singapore’s financial system. MAS will not hesitate to bar such individuals from carrying out regulated activities in the financial industry. It is imperative that industry professionals and representatives of financial institutions are fit and proper persons. They must be worthy of the trust that people place in them and their institutions,» said Ong Chong Tee, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision), MAS.