Singapore fines Standard Chartered entities $4.9 million for money laundering breaches

Standard Chartered said in 2016 that it was to close its trust operations in Guernsey and centralize that part of its business in Singapore. (Reuters)
Updated 19 March 2018
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Singapore fines Standard Chartered entities $4.9 million for money laundering breaches

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s central bank imposed penalties of S$5.2 million ($3.95 million) on Standard Chartered Bank (SCBC) and S$1.2 million on Standard Chartered Trust (Singapore) (SCTS) for breaching money laundering rules and terrorism financing safeguards.
In a statement on Monday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said the breaches occurred when trust accounts of SCBC’ customers were transferred from Standard Chartered Trust (Guernsey) to SCTS from December 2015 to January 2016.
“MAS requires financial institutions to adequately assess money laundering risks when deciding whether to accept customers. They should also have in place good systems and processes to monitor customer transactions,” said MAS Deputy Managing Director Ong Chong Tee.
The MAS and Guernsey’s Financial Services Commission had been looking into Standard Chartered’s movement of some assets, mainly of Indonesian clients in late 2015, just before the Channel Island adopted new global rules on exchanging tax information.
“The timing of the transfers raised questions of whether the clients were attempting to avoid their CRS reporting obligations. However, SCBC and SCTS did not adequately assess and mitigate against this risk factor, and also failed to file suspicious transaction reports in a timely manner,” MAS said.
In a statement, Standard Chartered conceded that it fell short of its own standards to mitigate risks but said it was taking action to rectify these deficiencies.
“We ourselves identified the issue, we recognized that we weren’t as diligent as we needed to be in the transfer of some trust assets from Guernsey to Singapore,” Standard Chartered’s CEO Bill Winters said at Credit Suisse’s annual Asia Investment Conference in Hong Kong on Monday. “We reported both our own shortcomings and also the action of our clients to the MAS.”
“The important thing ... is we are making investments necessary to make sure there is no repeat,” he said.
Standard Chartered said in 2016 that it was to close its trust operations in Guernsey and centralize that part of its business in Singapore.


Oman signs exploration agreements with Occidental Petroleum

Updated 16 December 2018
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Oman signs exploration agreements with Occidental Petroleum

  • Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhi signed the agreement covering concession 51 with Occidental Oman

DUBAI: Oman signed on Sunday two agreements giving a unit of Occidental Petroleum the rights to explore for oil and natural gas in concessions 51 and 65, the oil ministry of the sultanate said in a tweet.
Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhi signed the agreement covering concession 51 with Occidental Oman and the agreement on concession 65 with Occidental Oman and Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production, a unit of state-owned Oman Oil Co, the tweet said.
Concession 51 covers 10,133 square kilometers (3,912.37 square miles) and concession 65 covers 1,230 square kilometers (474.91 square miles), Omani state TV said in a report.
The agreement provides for Occidental to spend $14 million on exploration operations in concession 51 in the initial three-year phase of the contract, Salman Al-Shehhi, the oil ministry’s director of investment, told state TV.
Oman’s oil output is about 995,000 barrels per day. The sultanate is not a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries but it took part in an agreement reached by OPEC and other exporters earlier this month to reduce global supply in order to bolster oil prices.