MAS monitoring DBS Hong Kong case

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said that DBS is cooperating with Hong Kong authorities regarding the case involving DBS Hong Kong.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore said that DBS is cooperating with Hong Kong authorities regarding the case involving DBS Hong Kong.PHOTO: ST FILE

HONG KONG - 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's home regulator we expect DBS's business practices both in Singapore and abroad to be compliant with local laws and regulations," said an MAS spokesperson in an emailed statement today (Dec 9).

The central bank added that Singapore-based bank DBS is cooperating with Hong Kong authorities.

Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily had reported on Thursday (Dec 8) that some 20 DBS employees were being investigated by Hong Kong's anti-corruption agency, the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC).

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

The personal data was later passed on to a call centre in mainland China which held telephone promotions for high-interest loans. Commissions were then shared between the direct sales team and the call centre.

The report also prompted the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) to issue a statement of concern today (Dec 9), saying it would "follow up with the bank associated with the case".

Apple Daily reported that recently, a number of Hong Kong customers had complained about receiving loan marketing calls from people claiming to be DBS staff.

After carrying out internal investigations, the bank found that most of the telephone calls originated from a call centre in the mainland, even though DBS has never worked with the centre on telephone promotions. A report was later made to the ICAC.

Earlier this week, ICAC reportedly raided the homes of several current and former DBS employees.

An ICAC spokesman told Apple Daily that the agency does not discuss individual cases.

When contacted, a DBS spokesman told The Straits Times on Thursday (Dec 8): "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."