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MAS bans wealth manager for life

For his role in the scandal-hit Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued a lifetime prohibition order to Kevin Michael Swampillai, a former representative and head of the wealth management services department of BSI Bank in Singapore, as reported by FSA‘s sister publication, International Adviser.

The order was issued at the conclusion of an investigation conducted by the MAS, and took effect on 22 October 2020.

From 2012 to 2013, Swampillai and his then subordinate, Yeo Jiawei, assisted the Malaysian state-owned wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), to restructure several of its joint venture interests.

MAS said that Swampillai and Yeo “channelled a portion of the fund management fees to an entity beneficially owned by Swampillai, without BSIS’ knowledge and authorisation”.

Swampillai also “deliberately made misrepresentations to 1MDB’s auditors, KPMG Malaysia, in an attempt to improperly influence the outcome of an audit carried out by them on 1MDB’s fiduciary fund investments”, MAS said.


MAS said in a statement: “Mr Swampillai’s actions have given MAS reason to believe that he will not carry out regulated activities honestly.

“On account of the severity of his misconduct, MAS has prohibited him permanently from performing any regulated activity under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and providing any financial advisory service under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA).

“He is also permanently prohibited from taking part in the management, acting as a director, or becoming a substantial shareholder of any capital market and financial advisory services firm under the SFA and FAA.”

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