Singapore’s Banks Increase Customer Scrutiny After Money Laundering Scandal

singapore, city, skyline-79116.jpg

Singapore’s banks are reportedly increasing customer scrutiny following a $1.8 billion money laundering scandal.

As the Financial Times (FT) reported Saturday (Sept. 23), this added oversight is being applied to customers from a number of countries — China among them — with lenders also stepping up efforts to determine the sources of wealth.

According to the FT, interviews with wealth advisers, asset managers and private bankers have revealed that banks are warning that the waiting period to open a private banking account has gone from just a few weeks to three to four months.

Sources told the FT the longer processing times aren’t an official rule change, but rather a sign of how authorities have increased diligence following last month’s money laundering arrests. Banks are focusing on customers from China, Vanuatu, Turkey, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and Cyprus, the report said.

“If you have a People’s Republic of China passport, or possess a passport from any of the countries the suspects involved in the probe had, such as Cyprus, Vanuatu or Cambodia, you are getting red-flagged,” said one private banking adviser.

Last month, police in Singapore charged 10 people in a money laundering investigation, seizing nearly $2 billion in assets.

This news follows reports from earlier this year that banks, regulators and police in Singapore were working to create new standards for cryptocurrency and digital asset companies.

PYMNTS intelligence has also found that Singapore is the world’s most digitally connected country and a leading innovator in facilitating international business payments.

The report “How the World Does Digital: Different Paths to Digital Transformation” shows that Singapore is the most engaged nation in the ConnectedEconomy™ according to all the study’s metrics. In addition, the nation’s tech sector is heavily focusing on cross-border payments innovation, both singly and via partnerships, the report found.

Meanwhile, PYMNTS spoke earlier this month with Tobias Schweiger, CEO and co-founder of Hawk AI, about the way artificial intelligence (AI) can help banks prevent money laundering and other forms of fraud.

New PYMNTS Intelligence showed that more than 40% of U.S. banks reported an increase in fraud year over year, almost double what they reported last year. This increased number of fraudulent transactions represents a higher value of fraudulent losses and shows that bad actors are getting better at bypassing older, legacy lines of fraud defense.

For at least two decades, most fraud systems have been based on simple rules engines that don’t do the trick anymore, Schweiger told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster.

“Upgrading solutions and systems to also include machine learning and AI is really the only way [forward],” he explained.

Shopping Cart

Media Kit

    Data Protection

    Personal Data (“Data”) submitted for Media Kit (“Media Kit”), and/or collected in the form of first name, last name, email address and other contact details may be used for the purposes of inviting you to future events and for reaching out to you with content which may be of interest to you. For these purposes, The Digital Banker will share the Data with our associate companies (including event and content sponsors) to promote their products and services. You will also be automatically subscribed as a user on www.thedigitalbanker.com. If you would like to opt-out, email us at [email protected].

    By clicking Submit, you acknowledge that you consent/ have sufficient informed consent to the collection, use and disclosure of Data as set out above.

    The Digital Banker Summit

    Moving on from FTX: is 2023 the year of CBDCs?

    Indonesia, Jakarta

    Thailand, Bangkok

    Philippines, Manila

    Contact Us

      Data Protection

      The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

      Request Nomination Pack

        Data Protection

        The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

        Registration Form

          Data Protection

          The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

          Registration Form

            Data Protection

            The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

            Registration Form

              Data Protection

              The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

              Registration Form

                Data Protection

                The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

                Registration Form

                  Data Protection

                  The information you provide will be held on our database and may be used to keep you informed of our and our associate companies’ products and for selected third party mailings. Please tick the box if you would prefer not to be contacted for these purposes:

                  The world’s preeminent Private Banks and Wealth Managers are demonstrating a committed drive in innovation, advisory, new products and services to meet the sophisticated needs of their clients.

                  COVID-19
                  Amid economic activity revival on the back of the Covid-19 vaccine program, organisations moving from business continuity plans to stable working environments, together with the slightest improvement in unemployment numbers, forced the world to adjust to new realities. Coming to terms with the “new normal”, global investors are now on the look-out for attractive and stable investment opportunities.

                  Needs of Private Wealth customers and families worldwide have drastically changed due to the pandemic and banks have had to accelerate efforts to deploy a multi-channel service strategy and safeguard clients’ businesses and wealth against negative impacts of economic uncertainly.

                  The Global Private Banking Innovation Awards will recognise the world’s best private banks, wealth managers and asset managers that are championing innovation across advisory, service, products, customer experience and more.

                  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. 

                  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

                  Request Nomination Pack

                  Error: Contact form not found.