“These include weaknesses in conducting due diligence on customers and inadequate scrutiny of customers’ transactions and activities. MAS did not however detect pervasive control weaknesses within these banks,” the central bank said.
Following MAS’ latest announcement, Credit Suisse and UOB said in statements to the media that they acknowledged the findings by the central bank. Both banks said they have worked to strengthen their anti-money laundering controls.
“Notwithstanding that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) review findings show there are no pervasive anti-money laundering control weaknesses, we acknowledge the outcome of the review and regret that we have fallen short of the MAS’ and our own high standards,” a Credit Suisse spokesperson said.
UOB said it will also enhance its training program to raise risk and control awareness among the bank’s staff.
In addition to financial penalties imposed on the banks, the MAS also issued lifetime Prohibition Orders against a former Singapore branch manager of Falcon Private Bank, Jens Fred Sturzenegger, and two ex-employees of BSI Bank, Yak Yew Chee and Seah Mei Ying.
The Prohibition Orders, effective from May 29, 2017, prevent them from providing any capital markets or financial advisory services and managing any capital markets services or financial advisory firm in Singapore.
The central bank also said it intends to issue Prohibition Orders ranging from three to six years against three others for their involvement in 1MDB-related activities.