UBS, DBS, Falcon face Singapore scrutiny over 1MDB transactions: sources
By A. Ananthalakshmi and Saeed Azhar
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's central bank is scrutinizing several banks, including UBS UBSG.S and DBS Group Holdings (DBSM.SI: Quote), to see if they broke anti-money laundering rules in handling transactions linked to scandal-hit Malaysian state fund 1MDB, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is looking at several aspects of the banks’ operations including whether they were diligent enough in knowing who their customers were and what the source of their funds was, and whether they were particularly careful in screening politically-exposed persons such as government officials, banking and legal sources aware of the review said.
The probe could lead to fines and other penalties if lapses are found, said the sources who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. It is unclear which transactions by the banks are being examined.
Switzerland's Falcon Private Bank and Coutts International, which is owned by Geneva-based Union Bancaire Privee, are also among the banks under review, they said.
UBS, Coutts, and DBS, which is Singapore's top lender, all declined to comment.
When asked about the MAS review, a Zurich-based spokesman for Falcon said: "We have transparently shared our view and have nothing to add."
Falcon, which is owned by one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds - Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) - has previously said it is in contact with Singapore's central bank and cooperating with authorities.
The MAS is in talks with several banks and will make an announcement on any punitive action against them after the review is completed, sources said. The full details are not known at this stage. Continued...