MAS keeping an eye on DBS Hong Kong case

Employees, reportedly from the DBS Hong Kong sales team, had allegedly used bribery to obtain personal data of DBS clients.
Employees, reportedly from the DBS Hong Kong sales team, had allegedly used bribery to obtain personal data of DBS clients.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is aware of the case involving DBS Hong Kong whose employees were reportedly arrested over an alleged leak of customer data.

"As DBS' home regulator, we expect DBS' business practices both in Singapore and abroad to be compliant with local laws and regulations," said an MAS spokesman yesterday.

The central bank added that DBS is cooperating with the Hong Kong authorities.

Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily reported on Thursday that about 20 DBS employees were being investigated by Hong Kong's Independent Commission against Corruption.

The employees, reportedly from the DBS Hong Kong sales team, had allegedly used bribery to obtain personal data of DBS clients.

According to Apple Daily, the data was passed on to a call centre in mainland China that held telephone promotions for high-interest loans. Commissions for successful transactions were apparently shared between the direct sales team and the call centre.

The paper said that there had been complaints from Hong Kong customers about receiving loan marketing calls from people claiming to be DBS staff.

It added that after carrying out internal investigations, DBS found that most of the telephone calls originated from a call centre in the mainland, even though the bank has never worked with the centre on telephone promotions.

The report also prompted the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to issue a statement of concern yesterday, saying it would "follow up with the bank associated with the case".

A DBS spokesman told The Straits Times on Thursday: "DBS Hong Kong takes our obligations to curtail financial crime very seriously and the bank will cooperate fully with any law enforcement agency on their investigations.

"Together with our regulators and the industry, we intend to intensify our efforts in collaborating and fighting against financial crime."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2016, with the headline 'MAS keeping an eye on DBS Hong Kong case'. Print Edition | Subscribe