Vistra Trust penalised S$1.1 million for failing to comply with anti-money laundering requirements: MAS
SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed a composition penalty of S$1.1 million on Vistra Trust failing to comply with its anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism requirements.
Vistra Trust's business activities include the creation of trusts and provision of trustee services.
Inspections carried out by MAS from April to June 2019 uncovered serious breaches by Vistra Trust of the above requirements, placing it at a higher risk of being used as a conduit for illicit activities, MAS said in a news release on Thursday (Jan 20).
"Vistra Trust did not implement adequate procedures to determine if trust relevant parties presented a higher risk for money laundering or terrorism financing," said MAS.
"This resulted in Vistra Trust failing to identify certain higher risk accounts and subjecting these accounts to enhanced customer due diligence measures."
MAS also said that the company failed to perform adequate enhanced customer due diligence for some accounts that had been identified as being of higher risk.
Vistra Trust has since paid the penalty and taken remedial actions to address the risk management deficiencies that led to the breaches.
“Financial institutions play a critical role in guarding against the risk of illicit financing activities in Singapore. A specific area of risk relates to trust structures being abused by criminals to conceal illicit proceeds," said Ms Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director for policy, payments and financial crime at MAS.
"Boards and senior management of trust companies must ensure that higher risk trust accounts are identified and subject to robust money laundering or terrorism financing controls."
She added: "MAS will take strong actions against any financial institution that fails to meet our regulatory standards for anti-money laundering."