Print Article

Private bank fined $1m for lapses in anti-money laundering measures


In failing to comply with counter-money laundering measures and terrorist financing rules, Bank J. Safra Sarasin (BJS), the Singapore branch of a Swiss-based private bank, has been fined $1 million.

The penalty is for breaches between March 2014 and September 2018. These included:

  • BJS failed to establish the source of its customers' funds by appropriate and reasonable means.

  • BJS relied on customers' representations without corroboration.

  • BJS failed to adequately inquire into unusually large or abnormal patterns of customer transactions that had no obvious economic purpose.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said yesterday

  • The lapses arose during the process of signing on customers and monitoring their business relations, which put BJS at higher risk of being used as a conduit for illicit activities.

BJS has been ordered to appoint an independent party to validate its measures' effectiveness and report the findings to the MAS.

Ms Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director of policy, payments and financial crime at MAS, said:

  • "Financial institutions engaging in private banking business must be vigilant in guarding against the risk of dealing with illicit wealth.

  • "Given the potential complexity of private bank clients' profiles, it is particularly important that clients' representations regarding their source of wealth and funds are scrutinised and corroborated by objective evidence."


The Team

Meet the team of industry experts behind Comsure

Find out more

Latest News

Keep up to date with the very latest news from Comsure

Find out more


View our latest imagery from our news and work

Find out more


Think we can help you and your business? Chat to us today

Get In Touch

News Disclaimer

As well as owning and publishing Comsure's copyrighted works, Comsure wishes to use the copyright-protected works of others. To do so, Comsure is applying for exemptions in the UK copyright law. There are certain very specific situations where Comsure is permitted to do so without seeking permission from the owner. These exemptions are in the copyright sections of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended)[]. Many situations allow for Comsure to apply for exemptions. These include 1] Non-commercial research and private study, 2] Criticism, review and reporting of current events, 3] the copying of works in any medium as long as the use is to illustrate a point. 4] no posting is for commercial purposes [payment]. (for a full list of exemptions, please read here]. Concerning the exceptions, Comsure will acknowledge the work of the source author by providing a link to the source material. Comsure claims no ownership of non-Comsure content. The non-Comsure articles posted on the Comsure website are deemed important, relevant, and newsworthy to a Comsure audience (e.g. regulated financial services and professional firms [DNFSBs]). Comsure does not wish to take any credit for the publication, and the publication can be read in full in its original form if you click the articles link that always accompanies the news item. Also, Comsure does not seek any payment for highlighting these important articles. If you want any article removed, Comsure will automatically do so on a reasonable request if you email