Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Singapore fined Credit Suisse Group AG and United Overseas Bank Ltd. a total of S$1.6 million ($1.2 million) as regulators completed a two-year review of banks involved in fund flows linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB.

Credit Suisse was fined S$700,000 while UOB has to pay S$900,000 for breaches of anti-money laundering requirements and control lapses, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement Tuesday. Lifetime prohibition orders were also issued against Jens Fred Sturzenegger, former Singapore branch manager of Falcon Private Bank Ltd., as well as Yak Yew Chee, an ex-employee of BSI Bank Ltd. in Singapore, after the central bank shut down the two financial institutions in the city-state last year.

“The two-year-long 1MDB-related review holds key lessons for both MAS and financial institutions in Singapore” following “abuses” linked to 1MDB fund flows, Ravi Menon, managing director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said in the statement. “The price for keeping our financial center clean as it grows in size and inter-connectedness is unstinting vigilance.”

Singapore has vowed stronger action after the central bank found anti-money laundering lapses at financial-services companies linked to 1MDB. Singapore also previously banned former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Tim Leissner over breaches linked to 1MDB. 1MDB, which is at the heart of multiple probes across the globe, has consistently denied wrongdoing.

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Singapore has so far imposed a total of S$29.1 million in financial penalties on eight banks, including DBS Group Holdings Ltd., UBS Group AG, Coutts & Co. and Standard Chartered Plc, it said in the statement. Prohibition orders banning individuals from financial activities were imposed on four former bank employees, and the MAS has notified another three individuals of its intention for similar action ranging from three to six years.

Credit Suisse issued a statement saying it regretted that it had fallen short of MAS and its own standards, noting that the regulator’s review had found no pervasive anti-money laundering control weaknesses.

UOB, Singapore’s third-largest lender, said it accepted the MAS’s findings, adding that it will continue to build on its AML processes. Both will donate profits that came from the lapses to charities, they said.

The MAS in March banned Leissner, the former Goldman banker, from the city’s securities industry for 10 years, and said it was going to issue a lifetime ban against Sturzenegger and Yak, and a 15-year order against another BSI banker, Yvonne Seah Yew Foong. The MAS confirmed that penalty against Seah, who is now known as Seah Mei Ying, according to the regulator’s statement.

The MAS also said it intended to issue prohibition orders against former Maybank Kim Eng Securities Pte representative Kelvin Ang Wee Keng, NRA Capital Pte’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Scully, and its former head of research Lee Chee Waiy.

The three were involved in the valuation process of PetroSaudi Oil Services Ltd., which has been previously linked with 1MDB.

(MAS corrects name of Maybank Kim Eng representative in second-last paragraph to Kelvin Ang Wee Keng, rather than Kelvin Ang Keng Wee.)

--With assistance from Niluksi Koswanage

To contact the reporters on this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at kpark3@bloomberg.net, Chanyaporn Chanjaroen in Singapore at cchanjaroen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net, Darren Boey

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