Singapore’s financial regulator imposed penalties amounting to a total of S$3.8 million ($2.8 million) on DBS, Citigroup, Oversea-Chinese Banking and Swiss Life for breaches related to the Wirecard scandal. The four institutions were found to have inadequate money laundering and terrorism financing controls in place when they dealt with parties linked to Wirecard. The penalties amount to S$400,000 on Citibank, S$600,000 on OCBC, S$200,000 on Swiss Life and S$2.6 million imposed on DBS. As it gains status as a key financial hub, Singapore has been moving to curb illicit flows; in May, Parliament passed a bill paving the way for banks to share information on potentially risky clients. The penalized firms have addressed the deficiencies identified by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which include boosting their processes and training to improve staff’s vigilance in detecting and escalating risk concerns. Wirecard filed for bankruptcy in 2020 after acknowledging that 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion) it had listed as assets probably didn’t exist. The firm’s units that operated in Singapore had been asked to cease their payment activities in 2020. This week, two former Wirecard employees were handed prison terms, the first criminal convictions related to the fraud at the firm. — Selina Xu, Bloomberg News
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