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Standard Chartered Reportedly Quizzed On Client Transfers

Tom Burroughes

9 October 2017

, the UK-listed bank earning the bulk of its business in regions such as Asia and Africa, was being tight-lipped late last week on news reports that regulators in Europe and Asia are investigating it over the role staff may have played in transferring $1.4 billion of private bank client assets from Guernsey to Singapore.

Reports said the transfer of money had taken place before new tax transparency rules were introduced. 

The story was issued by Bloomberg, quoting unnamed sources. 

When asked about the matter, a spokesperson for the bank told WealthBriefingAsia and its sister publications that it had no comment to make. 

According to Bloomberg, Standard Chartered carried out an inquiry and notified regulators after employees raised questions early last year about the timing of the transactions and whether the source of customers’ funds had been properly vetted. The assets - held in its Guernsey trust unit for mainly Indonesian clients - were moved in late-2015 before the Channel Island adopted the Common Reporting Standard. 

Standard Chartered closed Guernsey operations last year.

The report went on to say that the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Guernsey’s Financial Services Commission are investigating the chain of events. The UK Financial Conduct Authority is aware of the transfers, but isn’t currently reviewing them, the report said, citing an unnamed source.

Authorities in Guernsey, Singapore and the UK have declined to comment.