MAS fines major institutions over Wirecard breaches

MAS slaps financial firms with fines in Wirecard scandal fallout, two former Wirecard employees face jail time

MAS fines major institutions over Wirecard breaches

Insurance News

By Ada Tabanao

Singapore's financial regulator has imposed fines on four institutions for breaches related to the Wirecard scandal. According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the penalties amount to $3.8 million.

The MAS stated that it had fined Singaporean banks DBS and OCBC, as well as the local branches of US-based Citigroup and insurance company Swiss Life.

DBS, Singapore's largest bank, faced the highest penalty, a fine of $2.6 million. The MAS found that the bank failed to “adequately establish the source of wealth of higher risk customers” and “inquire into the background and purpose of unusually large transactions”.

While the MAS deemed the breaches as serious, it did not discover any evidence of "wilful misconduct" by employees within the financial institutions.

In a separate development, two former employees of Wirecard received jail sentences in Singapore this week.

A Singapore court handed down prison terms to the former employees for their involvement in an embezzlement scheme. James Aga Wardhana received a 21-month jail sentence, while Chai Ai Lim received a 10-month sentence.

Wirecard declared insolvency in 2020 after revealing a €1.9 billion hole in its accounts.

Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun went on trial in December, facing charges of participating in the largest fraud case in German history.

Prosecutors accused Braun of approving inaccurate financial reports and fabricating documents to portray the existence of funds that did not actually exist. Braun has denied any wrongdoing, and the trial is expected to continue until 2024.

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