MAS slaps life ban on former BSI Bank wealth manager

MAS slaps life ban on former BSI Bank wealth manager

The MAS bans against Yeo Jiawei (left) and Mr Kevin Scully prohibit their involvement with financial advisory firms in Singapore.

PUBLISHED

DEC 20, 2017, 5:00 AM SGT

Yeo Jiawei was key figure in S’pore’s 1MDB probe; NRA Capital founder gets 3-year ban

Rachel Mui

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued a lifetime ban against former BSI Bank wealth manager Yeo Jiawei, and a three-year ban against NRA Capital founder Kevin Scully, which took effect on Monday.

These bans, or prohibition orders (POs), prevent Yeo and Mr Scully from providing any financial advisory services; and taking part in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any financial advisory firm in Singapore.

Yeo, who emerged as a key figure in Singapore’s probe into Malaysian state wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), was investigated by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and “convicted on a number of charges, including money laundering, cheating, and tampering of witnesses during CAD’s investigation”, MAS said.

MAS found that Mr Scully, chief executive of licensed financial adviser NRA Capital – which had been appointed to value PetroSaudi Oil Services – had “failed to ensure that NRA’s valuation of PetroSaudi was carried out with sufficient care, judgment and objectivity”.

Investigators claimed inflated PetroSaudi valuations were used to justify and obscure improper fund transfers at the heart of the 1MDB scandal. In addition, the United States Justice Department alleged that US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) from Malaysia’s government coffers, meant for 1MDB’s joint venture with PetroSaudi, was siphoned off to Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho.

When contacted, Mr Scully told The Business Times that he will resign from his designation at NRA and that “the staff will take over the business if they want to”.

Including these latest actions, MAS has issued POs against eight people involved in 1MDB-related breaches. Other POs served by the MAS include six-year bans to Maybank Kim Eng Securities’ former remisier Kelvin Ang and NRA’s former head of research Lee Chee Waiy; as well as a 10-year ban to former director of Goldman Sachs (South-east Asia) Tim Leissner, who was the lead banker to the fund; and a 15-year ban to former BSI Bank representative Yvonne Seah. 1MDB’s bonds were underwritten by Goldman Sachs International, the bank’s London-based unit.

Investigators claimed inflated PetroSaudi valuations were used to justify and obscure improper fund transfers at the heart of the 1MDB scandal. In addition, the United States Justice Department alleged that US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) from Malaysia’s government coffers, meant for 1MDB’s joint venture with PetroSaudi, was siphoned off to Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho.

In its statement last month, MAS said Ang had bribed Mr Lee with $3,000 to expedite the preparation of a valuation report on PetroSaudi. Mr Lee had accepted the bribe and “applied inappropriate methodology and assumptions in the valuation” of PetroSaudi, MAS noted. Besides Yeo, two others related to the 1MDB case have also been slapped with lifetime bans, namely BSI Bank’s former managing director Yak Yew Chee and former Falcon Private Bank (Singapore) branch manager Jens Sturzenegger.

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