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    HKMA Imposes HK$10 Million Fine on DBS Bank (Hong Kong) for AML Failures







    The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has announced a disciplinary action against DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (DBSHK), imposing a significant monetary penalty of HK$10 million. The penalty was levied for contraventions under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO), according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

    Investigation Findings

    The HKMA’s investigation revealed several deficiencies in DBSHK’s compliance systems. These included failures to continuously monitor business relationships, conduct enhanced due diligence in high-risk situations between April 2012 and April 2019, and maintain proper records for some customers. Additionally, DBSHK did not have adequate procedures to fulfill its duties under the AMLO during this period.

    Factors Considered in the Disciplinary Action

    In determining the disciplinary action, the Monetary Authority considered various factors:

    • The seriousness of the investigation findings.
    • The necessity to send a clear deterrent message to the industry regarding the importance of effective anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing controls.
    • Remedial actions taken by DBSHK to address identified deficiencies and improve compliance measures.
    • DBSHK’s lack of previous disciplinary records related to the AMLO and its cooperation during the investigation and enforcement proceedings.

    Official Statement

    Ms. Raymond Chan, Executive Director (Enforcement and AML) of the HKMA, emphasized the importance of effective customer due diligence measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. She stated, “The HKMA requires banks to put in place effective customer due diligence measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. These measures should be subject to regular review to ensure that they remain effective.”

    Industry Implications

    This disciplinary action sends a strong message to financial institutions about the critical importance of maintaining robust anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing controls. It underscores the HKMA’s commitment to enforcing compliance and ensuring that financial institutions adhere strictly to regulatory requirements.

    Image source: Shutterstock





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