Singapore Bans Ex-Goldman Banker Leissner, Seeks Bar on OthersBy
Leissner receives 10-year ban for unauthorized letter: MAS
Plans to issue orders against former BSI, Falcon bankers
Singapore banned former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Tim Leissner from the securities industry for 10 years and said it plans to issue similar orders against three others caught up in the scandal surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
Leissner, who left Goldman Sachs in February 2016, was sanctioned because he issued an unauthorized letter to a financial institution and made false statements on behalf of the U.S. bank without its knowledge, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement Monday. The central bank had signaled its intention to ban Leissner last year.
The MAS also said it plans to issue a lifetime ban against Jens Sturzenegger, a former branch manager at Falcon Private Bank Ltd., as well as on Yak Yew Chee, a former banker with BSI SA, given what it described as "the gravity of their misconduct". The central bank intends to issue a 15-year order against another BSI banker, Yvonne Seah Yew Foong, it added.
The MAS’s latest measures represent another move to address reputational damage caused by anti-money laundering lapses linked to 1MDB, the Malaysian investment fund. The regulator withdrew the local banking licenses of Falcon and BSI last year and issued fines against UBS Group AG, DBS Group Holdings Ltd. and Standard Chartered Plc.
“MAS will not tolerate conduct by any finance professional that threatens to undermine trust and confidence in Singapore’s financial system," Deputy Managing Director Ong Chong Tee said in the statement. “MAS will not hesitate to bar such individuals from carrying out regulated activities in the financial industry.”
Sturzenegger was sentenced to 28 weeks in jail and fined S$128,000 ($91,000) earlier this year after being convicted on six charges, including failing to report suspicious transactions. Yak was sentenced in November to an 18-week jail term and fined for forging documents and failing to disclose suspicious transactions allegedly related to Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho and his father. Seah was jailed for two weeks and fined on Dec. 16 for similar offences.
Low has been linked to alleged efforts to siphon billions of dollars from 1MDB.
Tan Hee Joek, a lawyer representing Sturzenegger, declined to comment. Seah’s lawyer Peter Low didn’t immediately return phone calls seeking comment. Yak respects the MAS’s decision, his lawyer Lee Teck Leng said. 1MDB has consistently denied wrongdoing.
— With assistance by Andrea Tan