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MAS fines DBS, OCBC, Citibank, Swiss Life S$3.8 million for breaches linked to Wirecard case

Contributed by Jarret Tham, Head of Compliance

Published on Channel News Asia (CNA), the article informs on penalties imposed by MAS on 4 financial institutions for breaching their requirements on anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (AML/CFT).

The infractions of the involved financial institutions share similarities where each one of them has failed to implement adequate controls and measures to ensure that customer due diligence information is maintained up to date, have a comprehensive understanding of the customer's beneficial ownership and source of wealth and funds, and ensure that suspicious transactions that serve no economic purposes are investigated and reported in a timely manner.

All 4 institutions have accepted the penalties and acknowledged that their AML/CFT controls were inadequate, however, it is also important to note that none of the breaches was the result of wilful misconduct. This highlights how the methods of financial crime, money laundering and terrorist financing are constantly evolving.

It is a reminder to all financial institutions to never be complacent and to have constant review of its AML/CFT controls to ensure its relevancy and ability to detect, report, and mitigate such activities.

At CYS, we actively seek new technologies that would enhance our due diligence and transaction monitoring capabilities to keep up with the increasingly digitalized environment. Examples of technology recently adopted by us include OCR/ Biometric verification which allows us to improve our fraud detection and ensure that as we expand our services to cater to overseas customers, we are able to ensure that identity verification can be carried out at the highest levels. Source: Channel News Asia

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