What’s next for KYC and AML in Singapore?

By Nick Lambe – Managing Director, Links International

For the first time in 30 years, The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has withdrawn the licence of a merchant bank with its announcement yesterday of its action against BSI for their dealings with troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). To me, this seems fairly surprising, as with ALL global banks having had a heavy emphasis on the regulatory challenges and with the significant amount of hiring within KYC and AML across the region, why is it that BSI have still been in this position? Furthermore, BSI were fined $211m in the US only just last year for aiding and abetting tax cheats, so surely the corporate governance would have been undergoing a significant overhaul.

This raises the question for me – to what extent are many financial institutions still under-staffed and under-resourced in this space? One would probably argue that the top tier largest banks who have received fines in the billions will all be working towards or have robust processes around KYC and AML. But have the mid-tier firms been somewhat overlooked by the regulators to date and, if so, will the MAS’s action be the catalyst for many of the smaller to medium sized firms to be under the microscope and start to beef up these teams?

What is your opinion?

We are currently recruiting for mid to senior level KYC and AML candidates on contract or permanent basis across investment banks and advisory firms in Singapore and Hong Kong. For more information, please email me on nick.lambe@linksinternational.com