MAS and CAD take action against former BSI Bank Deputy CEO

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The CAD and MAS have penalised senior management of BSI Bank Limited’s Singapore branch for breaches in AML/CFT laws and regulations. This brings to light the importance for firms to keep their transaction reporting standards in check.

The former Deputy CEO and Head of Private Banking of BSI Bank Limited’s Singapore branch was served a 24-month conditional warning and 10-year prohibition order for his negligence and failure to file suspicious transaction reports.

According to Ms Ho Hern Shin, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision) at the MAS stated that the “ultimate responsibility for ensuring a financial institution’s compliance with AML/CFT laws and regulations rests with its board of directors and senior management”. The statement and recent action taken by the MAS highlights the importance they have placed on ensuring that financial institutions are not violating laws around transaction reporting.

Suspicious transaction reporting is one of the key pieces to every AML/CFT Framework and should minimally include potential indicators, the evaluating criteria and the reporting requirements. To avoid legal action, Financial Institutions must ensure adequate suspicious transaction reporting policies are in place. It’s vital for firms to provide reasons for not adequately documenting, justifying or keeping suspicious transaction reports.

Mr David Chew, Director of the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) at the Singapore Police Force reiterated this by commenting that authorities in Singapore would “not hesitate to take action against reporting entities or their officers, who intentionally or negligently fail to file suspicious transaction reports”.

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