Singapore bans former Goldman Sachs banker from securities industry for 10 years

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Singapore has banned former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner from its securities industry for 10 years and plans to bar three other individuals over breaches related to Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore served notice of their intention to ban Mr Leissner in December, inviting him to submit written representations.

Mr Leissner, a former star dealmaker in Southeast Asia, is being punished over an unauthorised reference letter vouching for Jho Low, a Malaysian businessman alleged by US authorities to have laundered funds diverted from 1MDB.

The MAS said it intends to bar three other bankers convicted in Singapore courts for their role in 1MDB-related breaches. The three are Jens Sturzenegger, a Swiss national who managed Falcon bank in Singapore, Yak Yew Chee and Yvonne Seah, who both worked for Swiss bank BSI in Singapore.

Mr Sturzenegger and Mr Yak will be barred for life, while Ms Seah will be barred for 15 years under the proposed orders.

Ong Chong Tee, deputy managing director at MAS, said:

MAS will not tolerate conduct by any finance professional that threatens to undermine trust and confidence in Singapore’s financial system. MAS will not hesitate to bar such individuals from carrying out regulated activities in the financial industry.

Goldman Sachs said in a statement in December:

Today’s announcement refers to a matter we discovered in January 2016 and identified as a clear violation of the firm’s standards. At that time we promptly took steps to separate Mr. Leissner from the firm and reported the matter to regulatory authorities in several jurisdictions, including Singapore. We continue to cooperate with the MAS.

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