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Singapore's Central Bank Fines Citibank, DBS, OCBC, and Swiss Life for AML/CFT Breaches

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed fines totaling S$3.8 million ($2.83 million) on Citibank, DBS, OCBC, and Swiss Life for violating the country's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) requirements.

Singapore's Central Bank Fines Citibank, DBS, OCBC, and Swiss Life for AML/CFT Breaches

DBS received a penalty of S$2.6 million ($1.93 million), OCBC was fined S$600,000, Citibank was fined S$400,000, and Swiss Life faced a penalty of S$200,000. MAS found that these financial institutions had inadequate controls to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. The breaches were discovered during MAS's investigation into alleged irregularities in the financial statements of Wirecard and the alleged involvement of individuals based in Singapore. MAS clarified that there was no evidence of wilful misconduct by the staff of these institutions. The financial institutions have promptly taken remedial actions to address the identified deficiencies. DBS and Swiss Life have not yet responded to requests for comment.

An OCBC spokesperson acknowledged the complexity of the Wirecard case involving various entities and transactions across multiple jurisdictions, with one of their banking customers being implicated. The spokesperson emphasized the bank's commitment to enhancing their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing standards and capabilities over the past few years:

“We take such matters seriously. Over the past few years, we have devoted significant resources to a strategic uplift of our anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism standards and capabilities.”

A Citibank spokesperson mentioned that the case predates 2020 and that the bank has taken steps to strengthen its "know your customer" process:

“The case dates back to before 2020 and since then we have taken steps to strengthen our ‘know your customer’ process.”

MAS clarified that its investigation focused on the institutions' compliance with its requirements, while the determination of whether illicit activities occurred with the funds flowing through the financial institutions falls under the jurisdiction of the Singapore police:

“Whether the funds that flowed into/through the FIs were illicit monies, are under the purview of the Singapore police.”



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