After Switzerland's BSI bank was shut down in Singapore for breaking money laundering laws, regulators are now poised to investigate banks across the region. Tara Joseph reports
Blowing the lid on Singapore's squeaky clean financial sector. After Switzerland's BSI bank was shut down in Asia's wealth management hub on Tuesday for breaking money laundering laws... regulators are now expected to step in and investigate other banks for potential breaches... Analysts say the investigations are likely to reach beyond Singapore to financial centres across Asia. The probe started with Malaysia's scandal-ridden state fund known as 1MDB. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS ASIA FINANCIAL SERVICES EDITOR, LISA JUCCA, SAYING: "There are certainly banks especially maybe smaller banks that do not have operations in the US which has been at the forefront of those compliance actions. So for these banks this is definitely raising red flags I mean it's a massive wake up call. It's not to be said however that the larger banks can be totally immune. We have seen some very prominent global names be associated with the IMDB probe so it's a larger questions for them too." Asia could now find itself following the trail of Switzerland - where banks have had to cough up billions of fines as global prosecutors, led by the United States, chipped away at secrecy laws that allowed the world's rich to quietly stash their money. This region had become the new gold mine for wealth managers thanks to a rising number of millionaires and less scrutiny across a fractured and diverse regulatory landscape. But the easy days of wealth management now look to be over as regulators pour in. And the closure of BSI could be the tip of the iceberg.