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Singapore regulator fines StanChart units over anti-money laundering breaches

Singapore's central bank fined the Singapore units of Standard Chartered PLC S$6.4 million over breaches of anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing requirements.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore imposed a penalty of S$5.2 million on Standard Chartered Bank - Singapore Branch and S$1.2 million on Standard Chartered Trust (Singapore) Ltd. over breaches of the central bank's anti-money laundering rules.

The breaches occurred when trust accounts of the bank's customers were transferred from Standard Chartered Trust (Guernsey) to Standard Chartered Trust (Singapore) between December 2015 and January 2016, according to a March 19 release.

MAS said the Singapore units' risk management and controls during the transfers were unsatisfactory, with the timing of the transfers raising questions regarding whether clients were attempting to avoid their reporting obligations under new tax reporting standards. The exchanges had occurred shortly before Guernsey's implementation of the Common Reporting Standards for the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, a global framework for the exchange of tax data.

The central bank said Standard Chartered Bank and Standard Chartered Trust did not adequately assess and mitigate against the risk factor and did not file the suspicious transactions reports in a timely way.

As of March 16, US$1 was equivalent to S$1.32.