Banks in Singapore are closing accounts, demanding more verification, and increasing the amount of time it takes to become a customer as they tighten regulations in the wake of the apparent HK$2 billion ($255 million) JPEX crypto exchange fraud.
According to sources cited by Reuters, banks, including Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd (OCBC), Citigroup, and the United Overseas Bank (UOB), responded to the scandal by increasing client due diligence checks and stretching the time it takes to open an account to more than three months.
Only “high-quality clients with good profiles and substantial assets under management” can reportedly open a private bank account within the traditional one to three-month timeframe, a Singaporean bank wealth manager said speaking to Reuters.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore claimed that these measures are nothing new and said, “Given the attributes and size of their transactions, high-net-worth individuals are often subjected to more stringent checks by financial institutions.”
The OCBC said the bank is devoting “significant” resources in its effort to prevent illicit transactions, Citigroup claims it’s “committed to the fight against money laundering,” and the UOB said it was ensuring robust checks in its due diligence.