MAS fines UOB and Credit Suisse in 1MDB probe

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed financial penalties  amounting to S$0.7 million and S$0.9 million respectively on Credit Suisse and United Overseas Bank (UOB).

The decision was the result of MAS’ two-year review of banks involved in 1MDB-related transactions known to-date, according to a press statement released on May 30, 2017. 

Photo courtesy: MAS
Photo courtesy: MAS

The latest inspections of both banks revealed several breaches of anti-money laundering (AML) requirements and control lapses. 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. 

MAS also and served notice of its intention to impose Prohibition Orders (POs) on three individuals; Ang Keng Wee Kelvin, a former representative of Maybank Kim Eng Securities, NRA Capital CEO Kevin Scully and former NRA Head of Research Lee Chee Waiy.

Previously, POs had been issued against three individuals in the same probe; lifetime POs against Mr Jens Fred Sturzenegger and Mr Yak Yew Chee, as well as a 15-year PO against Ms Seah Mei Ying with effect from 29 May 2017. 

“The two-year long 1MDB-related review holds key lessons for both MAS and financial institutions in Singapore,” said Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS. “MAS has enhanced its AML surveillance and taken unprecedented enforcement actions against errant institutions and individuals.”

He also added that “financial institutions have increased their risk awareness and strengthened their AML controls. Our financial industry is in a better position today than it was when the abuses stemming from the 1MDB-related flows took place. The price for keeping our financial centre clean as it grows in size and inter-connectedness is unstinting vigilance.”