DBS and StanChart reiterate commitment to Singapore anti-money laundering laws amid 1MDB probe

A man walks past the construction site of 1MDB flagship Tun Razak Exchange in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in March 2015.
A man walks past the construction site of 1MDB flagship Tun Razak Exchange in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in March 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - DBS Bank and the Singapore branch of Standard Chartered Bank on Thursdy (July 21) reiterated their commitment to compliance with Singapore's anti-money laundering laws and cooperating with regulators after they were among several financial institutions found to have lapses in such controls.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore earlier on Thursday disclosed that its preliminary findings show instances of control failings in DBS, and the Singapore branches of StanChart and Swiss bank UBS.

And in some cases, it found weaknesses in the processes for accepting clients and monitoring transactions, as well as "undue delay in detecting and reporting suspicious transactions."

A DBS spokesman told the Straits Times that the bank previously identified certain questionable activities and voluntarily reported these to the relevant authorities.

"Egregious financial crime is highly sophisticated and intentionally designed to evade systems and controls. ... We take our anti-money laundering obligations seriously and will continue to extend our fullest cooperation to regulators and law enforcement."

Standard Chartered also said it takes financial crime compliance very seriously.

 

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"When we discovered the suspicious transactions, we reported them and have been fully cooperating with the relevant authorities," a spokesman said.

It also said it has strengthened its anti-money laundering controls and processes and will continue to play an active role in the fight against financial crime.

"We would like to stress that the assessments by the MAS have not been finalised. In addition, according to the MAS statement, "……the MAS' inspections did not reveal pervasive control weaknesses or staff misconduct within these banks, unlike in the case of BSI Bank," it said.

UBS has not yet responded to the Straits Times' request for comment.