This statement came after the shocking closing of BSI by the MAS and the revoking of its banking licence for its part in the 1MDB case. It was also fined for $13.3m. Several of its top executives including the CEO are now under investigation while one executive is facing several charges. Some have resigned and some suspended.
Could Singapore do better or just do what the Americans have been doing against rogue banks, not rogue bankers? The Americans have been finding the banks hundreds of billions of dollars for money laundering and improper criminal business activities. And the US govt is pocketing the money happily, hundreds of billions after so many banks were caught with their pants down. And the CEOs and top management of fraudulent banks are also happily continuing with their business, continue to do the same, not guilty of any crime and not having to resign or pay any fines. The heavy fines are paid by the banks, ie shareholders’ money.
Singapore in this case did a few things different. Find BSI a miserable $13.3m but closed the bank. Also one executive is facing charges, ok this is the same in the USA, junior executives would be charged. No big fish involved. Would Singapore go further to charge the CEO and top executives? They must have known what was going on and approved the dealings. No?
Now, how would this affect this island’s financial system and reputation as a squeaky clean country? According to a veteran market watcher Mano Sabmani, ‘the problem at BSI are not likely to be contagious…”It is probably the main rotten egg and the entire basket is not necessarily contaminated”.’ I like his confidence in the system. This is like there are negligible foreigners here working using fake degrees or forged credentials because so far only one has been exposed and accepted as no fault, just a slight error in judgement. And the few hundreds caught, small matters. With 2 millions working here, a few hundred is probably all the problem there is. The rest are clean.
So this thing is not contagious. The rest of the banks and bankers would not be caught for such vices. The system is sound and intact, like there are no more foreigners working here under fake degrees and forged credentials. Not to worry. If there is anything different, maybe the CEO and top executives in BSI may not get away too easily in this case. Other than that, all is fine. Singapore is a fine city. How can Singapore’s reputation be dragged down into the mud as one of those money laundering countries? This is only one rotten case.