“Vistra Trust has not implemented adequate procedures to determine whether trusted parties pose a higher risk of money laundering or terrorist financing,” MAS said.
“This resulted in Vistra Trust failing to identify certain higher risk accounts and subjecting those accounts to increased customer due diligence.”
MAS also said the company failed to perform adequate enhanced client due diligence on some accounts that had been identified as higher risk.
Since then, Vistra Trust has paid the fine and taken remedial action to address the risk management deficiencies that led to the breaches.
“Financial institutions play a crucial role in protecting against the risk of illegal financing activities in Singapore. A particular area of risk relates to escrow structures, which are abused by criminals to conceal illicit proceeds,” said Ms. Loo Siew Yee, MAS Deputy General Manager, Policies, Payments and Financial Crimes.
“Boards and senior management of trust companies must ensure that higher risk trust accounts are identified and subject to strict anti-money laundering or terrorist financing controls.”
She added: “MAS will take strong action against any financial institution that fails to meet our anti-money laundering regulatory standards.”