25 Jul 2016
Singapore’s central bank said it will enhance controls against money laundering and take swift action against banks following damaging findings that financial institutions in the city-state handled money flows linked to Malaysian state fund 1MDB.
“There is no doubt that the recent findings have made a dent in our reputation as a clean and trusted financial centre,” Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said at its annual news conference on Monday.
“MAS is determined to fix the problem, working together with the industry.”
Menon said the central bank will bolster its enforcement, conduct rigorous investigations and take swift action against errant financial institutions.
The comments came after authorities in Singapore announced last week that they had seized S$240 million ($177 million) of assets in an investigation of 1MDB-related fund flows for possible money laundering.
They also said they found problems at three major banks: top local lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd, the world’s largest private bank UBS AG, and UK-based bank Standard Chartered.
An onsite inspection of another Swiss bank, Falcon PBS, owned by one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds – Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), in April 2016 found “substantial breaches” of anti-money laundering regulations, the MAS said.
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