Regulators in Europe and Asia are investigating Standard Chartered over the role staff may have played in transferring $1.4 billion of private bank client assets from Guernsey to Singapore before new tax transparency rules were introduced, people with knowledge of the probes said.
Bloomberg News reports that the bank conducted an inquiry and notified regulators after employees raised questions early last year about the timing of the transactions and whether the source of customers’ funds had been properly vetted, said the people, who declined to be identified because the details are private.
The assets - held in its Guernsey trust unit for mainly Indonesian clients, some of whom had links to the military - were moved in late-2015 before the Channel Island adopted the Common Reporting Standard, a global framework for the exchange of tax data, at the start of 2016, the people said. Standard Chartered shuttered its operations on the island last year.
Standard Chartered’s processes and the way the transfers were handled are being examined, but regulators haven’t suggested that bank employees colluded with clients to evade tax, the people said.
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