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HKMA Expresses Concern as DBS Arrests Reported in Hong Kong

Updated on
  • Apple Daily reports probe into alleged customer data leak
  • DBS says that its internal monitoring led to investigation

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority expressed concern after a newspaper said DBS Group Holdings Ltd. staff were arrested in a probe connected with an alleged leak of customer data.

The city’s Independent Commission Against Corruption began investigating after the data were supplied to a telemarketing center in mainland China, Apple Daily reported.

The Singapore-based DBS disputed the newspaper’s report that more than 20 current and former staff had been arrested, but wouldn’t specify a number.

The HKMA will “follow up with the relevant bank,” the regulator said in its statement of concern on Friday. Glendy Chu, a marketing and communications executive for DBS in Hong Kong, said that the bank alerted authorities after its internal monitoring turned up irregularities. She wouldn’t give more details. The ICAC declined to comment.

Telemarketers contacted DBS clients to try to get them to borrow from the bank, with the employees and the call center splitting commissions, Apple Daily reported, without citing a source for its information. Some employees were sales staff who were authorized to sell loan products in branches or on the street but not by cold calling, it said. 

Some DBS staff allegedly bribed department managers to get client data, including names and contact details, Apple Daily reported.

— With assistance by Chanyaporn Chanjaroen, and Bei Hu

(Updates with DBS comments in third and fourth paragraphs.)
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