Indonesia to probe $1.4bn Standard Chartered Guernsey funds transferred to Singapore

The bank was responding to news reports on Tuesday that Indonesia is probing allegations about the bank moving about US$1.4 billion of assets to Singapore in 2015 from Guernsey just before the Channel Island implemented tax transparency rules. "We are now checking their annual tax reports, as well as their report of assets", Hestu Yoga Saksama, a spokesman for Indonesia's tax office, said.

"This was not a transfer by one Indonesian citizen but by many customers". This investigation should be completed by the end of the month.

An earlier report by Bloomberg said that regulators in Europe and Asia are also looking into the matter.

In a statement late yesterday, the MAS confirmed it is investigating the Standard Chartered transfer.

MAS said it takes a serious view of the transfer between the Guernsey and Singapore offices of Standard Chartered Bank, while The Straits Times understands that senior officials from the PPATK are now in Singapore working on the case.

Last year, the MAS took tough enforcement action against several banks over their dealings with 1Malaysia Development Bhd, shutting the local units of two Swiss banks, imposing fines and seizing at least S$240 million (RM743 million) of assets.

The ministry's director-general of tax, Mr Ken Dwijugiasteadi, said during a doorstop interview late on Monday (Oct 9) night that the assets in question were owned by "business people".

"Where suspicious activities are detected, financial institutions have to apply enhanced scrutiny and report these to the authorities accordingly", the MAS said. Guernsey is known to be a low-tax, offshore financial center.

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