The regulator is looking into a money laundering case and checking whether a number of international and local banks correctly monitored clients' activity. Besides Credit Suisse, other firms mentioned in the report include UBS, Julius Baer, ICBC, UOB and Bank of China.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is to carry out an on-site inspection of Credit Suisse after at least one of its customers was charged with money laundering, Bloomberg has reported, citing unnamed sources.
The regulator is looking at a number of banks to work out whether they monitored wealthy clients' accounts properly, the sources were quoted by the newswire as saying. Officials from the regulator are set to interview personnel and review documents within weeks, the report said. It was not clear which banks the MAS will inspect.
Credit Suisse – in the process of being absorbed into UBS after the latter bank acquired it during the spring – declined to comment to this news service.
A money laundering scandal has affected at least 10 domestic and international banks in Singapore, the report continued, saying that more than S$2.8 billion ($2 billion) of assets from cash to jewellery have been taken from a group of alleged money launderers of Chinese origin.
The MAS’s upcoming visit would be outside its regular engagements with banks, and signals potential issues with the lenders’ sizable exposure to the suspects and overall handling of client vetting, the report said. Credit Suisse is among the banks that have relationships with either the accused, or their companies. One of the suspects, Vang Shuiming, held S$92 million at the Swiss lender, the biggest known account so far in the case.
The report said that a MAS spokesperson referred to comments made in parliament this month by Minister of State Alvin Tan, who said the regulator is conducting supervisory reviews and inspections of the banks with “a major nexus” to the case.
Besides Credit Suisse, Vang also had bank accounts at lenders including Julius Baer, United Overseas Bank, and RHB Bank’s local unit. The report said another suspect, Wang Dehai, stashed money at UBS, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China.