Standard Chartered hit by fine in Singapore for money laundering breaches

Standard Chartered has been fined by regulators in Singapore for breaking money laundering and terrorism financing rules.

The bank has been fined a total of 6.4m Singaporean dollars (£3.5m) by regulator the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The breaches occurred when accounts were transferred from Standard Chartered’s Guernsey arm to its Singaporean business in late 2015 and early 2016.

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MAS said that it found the bank’s “risk management and controls in relation to the transfers to be unsatisfactory”.

The regulator also noted that the transfers took place shortly before Guernsey’s implementation of the common reporting standards (CRS) for the automatic exchange of financial account Information in tax matters.

The CRS is an international agreement piloted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which aims to cut down on tax evasion.

MAS said: “The timing of the transfers raised questions of whether the clients were attempting to avoid their CRS reporting obligations.” It also said that the bank “did not adequately assess and mitigate against this risk factor, and also failed to file suspicious transaction reports in a timely manner”.

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In mitigation MAS said that the bank had notified the regulator of its internal review of the accounts and had since taken strong measures to strengthen its risk management and control systems.

Standard Chartered said in a statement: "We take this matter very seriously. We proactively reported it to the authorities, conducted a thorough review of the relevant trust structures, and made structural and procedural changes to ensure that our employees are better equipped to identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks.

"We will continue to monitor, review and strengthen these measures to bolster our overall defence against potential financial crime risks.”

Original Article

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