SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Tuesday that it was ‘closely studying’ media reports that Singapore banks had informed U.S. regulators of suspicious transactions.
The move came as global banks faced a fresh scandal about dirty money on Monday as they sought to limit the fallout from a cache of leaked documents showing they transferred more than $2 trillion in suspect funds over nearly two decades.
Banks from many countries were named in the report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and based on leaked documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The report was based on 2,100 leaked suspicious activity reports (SARs), covering transactions between 1999 and 2017, filed by banks and other financial firms with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
“MAS is aware that Singapore banks were mentioned in media reports on suspicious transaction reports filed with FinCEN,” the city-state’s central bank said in an email on Tuesday.
“Although suspicious transaction reports in and of themselves do not imply that the transactions are illicit, MAS takes such reports very seriously,” it said.
It said it will take “appropriate action” based on the outcome of its review, adding that “Singapore’s regulatory framework to combat money laundering meets international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force.”
(Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)