SINGAPORE’S move to tighten regulations after an 1MDB review will have reverberations throughout the financial industry, said the Straits Times today.
Yesterday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) fined United Overseas Bank and Credit Suisse a total of S$1.6 million (RM4.94 million) over breaches related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
In a statement, MAS said its review is the most extensive it has ever undertaken, diving into all the 1MDB transactions flowing through the city state.
Last year, it withdrew the licences of two banks – BSI Bank and Falcon Bank – and fined another eight banks S$29.1 million. These included BSI, Falcon, DBS Bank, UBS, Standard Chartered Bank, Coutts, Credit Suisse and UOB.
“The two-year-long 1MDB-related review holds key lessons for both MAS and financial institutions in Singapore” following “abuses” linked to 1MDB fund flows, Ravi Menon, MAS managing director, said in the statement.
“MAS has enhanced its anti-money laundering (AML) surveillance and taken unprecedented enforcement actions against errant institutions and individuals… The price for keeping our financial centre clean as it grows in size and inter-connectedness is unstinting vigilance.”
Singapore has also issued prohibition orders against four former employees of financial institutions implicated in 1MDB-related transactions, including Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner; Jens Fred Sturzenegger, Falcon’s former Singapore branch manager; Yak Yew Chee, an ex-employee of BSI in Singapore; and a 15-year ban against another BSI banker, Yvonne Seah Yew Foong.