OCBC private banking unit fined US$1.12m by Dubai regulator

Dubai’s financial regulator fined the private banking unit of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. $1.12 million for regulatory breaches including inadequate systems and controls related to anti-money laundering.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority imposed the fine on the Dubai International Financial Centre branch of Bank of Singapore “for a number of contraventions of DFSA legislation, including for having inadequate systems and controls including those relating to anti-money laundering,” it said in a statement Thursday.

The DFSA also found deficiencies in the bank’s “assessment of the risks posed by its clients; customer due diligence and enhanced CDD practices; identification of its clients’ sources of wealth and sources of funds; and suspicious activity reporting,” it said.

The regulator found that Bank of Singapore had acted outside the scope of its local license by arranging deals in investments related to rights under long-term insurance contracts. The bank has since applied for permission to do so.

The penalty was reduced from $2 million because Bank of Singapore said it would seek to redress the failings and agreed to settle the matter. The bank has agreed to remedy the deficiencies in its systems and controls, as well as engage an external compliance expert to assist with its obligations and to verify the remediation has been completed.

“We have further strengthened our controls to ensure compliance with the regulations of Dubai Financial Services Authority,” Vivek Gehani, deputy senior executive officer at Bank of Singapore’s DIFC branch, said in response to Bloomberg queries. “We are committed to rectifying the findings highlighted by the regulator.” – BLOOMBERG