MAS Fines Citi, DBS, OCBC, and Swiss Life Following Wirecard Probeby Fintech News Singapore June 22, 2023
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed penalties amounting to S$3.8 million in total on Citibank, DBS Bank, OCBC, and Swiss Life for breaching its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements.
MAS discovered these breaches when it examined these financial institutions following news of irregularities relating to Wirecard AG’s financial statements and the alleged involvement of Singapore-based individuals and entities in the matter.
These four financial institutions were found to have inadequate AML/CFT controls in place when they dealt with persons who were involved in transactions with, or had links to, Wirecard AG or its related parties.
MAS said that even though the breaches were serious, it did not find willful misconduct by any staff of these financial institutions. They had taken prompt remedial actions to address the deficiencies identified by MAS.
These include enhancements to their procedures and processes, and training to improve staff’s vigilance in detecting and escalating risk concerns.
MAS had issued fines of S$400,000 on Citibank, S$2.6 million on DBS, S$600,000 on OCBC, and S$200,000 on Swiss Life. According to the regulator, all four of them have accepted the penalties.
Ho Hern Shin, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision), MAS, said,
“As Singapore grows in importance as an international financial centre, MAS expects our financial institutions to step up their controls against facilitating illicit financial flows.
They must implement robust measures to know their customers, monitor on-going transactions to ensure that these are consistent with their understanding of their customers and their businesses, and exercise greater vigilance when customers use complex structures.”