RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Head of Regulatory Practice Nizam Ismail was interviewed by Channel NewsAsia on the financial penalties imposed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Credit Suisse and UOB for 1MDB-related transactions.
The full interview was published on Channel NewsAsia’s Singapore Tonight segment on 30 May 2017.
Following the MAS two year review of banks involved in 1MDB-related transactions, latest inspections on Credit Suisse and UOB revealed several breaches of anti-money laundering (AML) requirements and control lapses. As a result, financial penalties amounting to S$700,000 and S$900,000 were imposed on the banks respectively.
Despite the complexity of the 1MDB case, the MAS has taken extensive actions to strengthen its AML regime. Nizam said, “While the MAS has promised a few things, it has revamped its AML laws over the last few years to prepare Singapore for the financial action task for evaluation. It has also formed a new AML enforcement department.”
“MAS will not hesitate to name and shame errant bands and I think MAS has kept its promise,” said Nizam.
To date, the MAS has imposed financial penalties amounting to S$29 million on eight banks.
Moving forward, Nizam points out that banks may be required to bring more experienced compliance officers on board to spot red flags in advance. With higher systems and hiring costs, Nizam shared, “We already have seen a phenomenon where banks transfer some of the cost of doing customer due diligence back to their clients.”
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing emerged as a winner of the "CSR – Editor’s Award" at the 5th WealthBriefingAsia Awards.
We are honoured to be the only firm nominated in this category. The triumph marks another milestone for the Firm and RHT Rajan Menon Foundation to be recognised as a corporate citizen and a leader in this space.
The awards night on 1 June 2017 was held at the prestigious Westin Hotel in Singapore.
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing has also been shortlisted by WealthBriefingAsia Singapore Awards 2017 in the categories of:
Legal Team - South-East Asia
Wealth Planning Team - South-East Asia
Philanthropy Offering/Initiative of the Year
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Head of Regulatory Practice Nizam Ismail was quoted in The Edge article titled “1MDB Case: Will Malaysia, Abu Dhabi settlement deter Singapore”.
The article was first published in The Edge Singapore on 1 May 2017.
The article discussed about the agreement between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to settle a dispute involving billions of dollars’ worth of bonds issued by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Nizam commented that “the settlement between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi will have no bearing on cases of individuals being prosecuted in Singapore. Instead, the key factors are what acts took place, the state of mind of the persons involved in these acts at the material time, and the events that happened at the time.” He went on to share that “Singapore authorities will make the assessment, under Singapore laws, as to whether any offence has been committed within Singapore.”
The full article dated Monday 1 May 2017, can be found in The Edge Singapore.