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.


China willing to invest $3 bln in Nigerian oil operations -NNPC

Updated 15 July 2018
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China willing to invest $3 bln in Nigerian oil operations -NNPC

ABUJA: China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
During a visit to Nigeria’s state-owned NNPC, CNOOC Chief Executive Yuan Guangyu said the Beijing-based oil company had invested more than $14 billion in its Nigerian operations and expressed readiness to invest more.
Guangyu said Nigeria was their largest investment destination and also asked the NNPC to seek common grounds with CNOOC for enhanced productivity.
Nigeria has been holding talks with oil majors over new finance agreements for joint ventures since last year. The NNPC last year signed financing agreements with Chevron and Shell worth at least $780 million to boost crude production and reserves.
Other western oil companies, including ExxonMobil (XOM.N), operate in Nigeria through joint ventures with NNPC.