MAS directs BSI Bank to shut down in Singapore

24 May 2016.  The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that it has served BSI Bank Limited (BSI Bank) notice of intention to withdraw its status as a merchant bank in Singapore for serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight of the bank’s operations, and gross misconduct by some of the bank’s staff.

2 In addition, MAS has referred to the Public Prosecutor the names of six members of BSI Bank’s senior management and staff to evaluate whether they have committed criminal offences.

3 BSI Bank has been operating as a merchant bank in Singapore since November 2005 where it offers private banking services. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BSI SA, a bank founded in 1873 and headquartered in Switzerland.

Assurance for customers of BSI Bank

4 Clients and customers of BSI Bank are assured that the Bank is solvent and has assets in excess of its liabilities and commitments. It also has the full support of its parent bank, BSI SA, in Switzerland. MAS is working closely with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the home regulator of BSI SA, to oversee an orderly closure of BSI Bank in Singapore.

5 MAS notes that FINMA has approved the acquisition of the entire BSI Group by EFG International, a bank authorised by FINMA and headquartered in Switzerland. In the interest of the customers of BSI Bank, MAS will allow the transfer of the Singapore subsidiary’s assets and liabilities to the Singapore branch of EFG Bank AG or to the parent entity, BSI SA.

Withdrawal of merchant bank status

6 In 2011, MAS inspected BSI Bank and found policy and process lapses at the front office and weak enforcement by control functions. The lapses were rectified. In 2014, MAS inspected the bank again and uncovered …….

For full details, please visit MAS website.