Hong Kong fines DBS Bank USD1.3 mln for AML law breaches

Monday 8 July 2024 14:05 CET | News

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has fined the local arm of DBS Bank USD 1.3 million for non-compliance with anti-money laundering law.


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has fined the local arm of DBS Bank USD 1.3 million for non-compliance with anti-money laundering law.

The HKMA claims DBS Bank failed to ‘continuously monitor business relationships and conduct enhanced due diligence in high-risk situations’ over a seven-year period. The ‘control deficiencies’ found during a HKMA investigation also included failure to keep records for some of its customers stipulated by the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance.

Parent group DBS, one of Southeast Asia's largest banks, was among lenders caught up in a billion-dollar money-laundering scandal in Singapore in 2023. Banks are required to ‘put in place effective customer due diligence measures to combat money laundering and terrorist fiancing and those measures should be regularly reviewed, according to the HKMA.

DBS Hong Kong said in a statement that it accepted the HKMA's decision and takes anti-money laundering obligations seriously. The issues at hand were sporadic and historical in nature, having occurred between April 2012 and April 2019, it said.

DBS Hong Kong has been working with regulators to improve anti-money laundering controls and has implemented policies that ‘materially improved our capabilities to detect and mitigate money laundering risks’, the bank said.

Previous news from DBS

In July 2024, DBS and Mashreq have partnered to provide same-day and near-instant cross-border payments to Mashreq’s retail customers using DBS Globesend, a solution covering 132 currencies across 190 markets. This service enhances transparency with real-time tracking for transactions to Singapore and Hong Kong.

The collaboration meets growing demand for secure, cost-effective cross-border payments, essential for the digital economy and global trade. By 2027, global cross-border payment flows are expected to exceed USD 250 trillion. The partnership aims to improve customer experience, particularly benefiting the UAE's expatriate community, and facilitates seamless capital flows through a single API integration.

In June 2024, DBS’ Taiwan arm has partnered with Thales to introduce bio-sourced payment cards to Asia, issuing over two million eco-friendly Polylactic Acid (PLA) cards for credit card renewals following its merger with Citibank.

This collaboration aligns with DBS Taiwan’s commitment to sustainability, making them the leading issuer of PLA cards in Asia since 2020. These eco-friendly cards, derived from renewable resources like non-edible corn, support green consumption by offering rebates for low-carbon transportation and encouraging sustainable lifestyles through partnerships with the DBS Foundation.

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Keywords: money laundering, regulation, compliance, banking, CFT
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Companies: DBS Bank, Hong Kong Monetary Authority
Countries: Hong Kong
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime

DBS Bank


Hong Kong Monetary Authority

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