SINGAPORE • Standard Chartered plc (StanChart) units were fined S$6.4 million (RM19.21 million) for failing to meet Singapore’s anti-money laundering requirements, less than two years after it was punished for a similar breach in the city-state.
The lender’s Singapore branch was ordered to pay S$5.2 million and its local trust unit was fined S$1.2 million by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The breaches occurred when certain trust accounts were transferred from Guernsey to Singapore from December 2015 to January 2016, the MAS said in a statement yesterday.
The regulator found that risk management and controls in relation to the transfers were “unsatisfactory”.
The timing raised questions over whether the clients were attempting to avoid their reporting obligations, the MAS said.
Regulators in Europe and Asia have been investigating the role that StanChart staff may have played in transferring US$1.4 billion (RM5.49 billion) of private bank client assets from Guernsey to Singapore before new tax transparency rules were introduced, Bloomberg reported in October.
“We regret that we fell short of our own standards in adequately mitigating the risks, involving some clients who might have attempted to avoid reporting obligations under the Common Reporting Standard by transferring their trusteeships,” StanChart said in an emailed statement.