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Singapore’s financial institutions on the lookout for risks arising from Russia

Local FIs are reportedly taking appropriate measures to manage risks, says MAS.

Singapore’s financial industry is vigilant to any risks arising from sanctions imposed on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the local financial regulator, said that local financial institutions (FIs) are aware of the heightened risks, and “are taking appropriate measures to manage any legal, reputational, and operational risks arising from the sanctions imposed by various jurisdictions.”

“MAS has sent a circular to all FIs in Singapore, reminding them to manage any risks associated with the situation in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by major jurisdictions,” a MAS spokesperson told Asian Banking & Finance in response to queries.

“FIs should also continue to stay vigilant to any suspicious transactions or flow of funds, and apply enhanced customer due diligence in higher-risk situations,” the spokesperson added.

Asian FIs and issuers are generally not very exposed to Russia or Ukraine, according to separate comments from Moody’s and Natixis. Despite this, local banks in Singapore are taking measures to curb any risk that could possibly arise from connections to the affected markets.

Also Read: Uncertainties arising from Ukraine invasion threaten Asian banks’ asset quality: analysts

United Overseas Bank (UOB), one of Singapore’s biggest banks, told Asian Banking & Finance that they do not have direct exposure to Russian banks, but have advised clients on possible exposure to risks. 

“We have earlier advised a handful of our clients with trade flows affected by potential sanctions to manage down their exposure accordingly,” UOB said in an emailed correspondence.

In a statement published on its website, UOB stated that it will comply with any sanctions passed by Singapore, relevant entities, and in jurisdictions in which the bank operates.

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