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On Regulatory Penalties: A $2.5m Wake-up Call

On Regulatory Penalties. A S$2.5m wake-up Call

Wealth and fund management company Swiss-Asia Financial Services Pte. Ltd. (SAFS) found itself in the regulatory spotlight this week, after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) imposed a hefty composition penalty of S$2.5 million for breaches in Anti-Money Laundering(AML) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regulations.

What went wrong?

Investigations revealed several deficiencies within SAFS's AML/CFT framework. Despite experiencing substantial business growth between September 2015 and October 2018, SAFS's controls lagged, leaving the company vulnerable to financial crime.

SAFS's Identified Compliance Breaches and Shortcomings

Identified breaches included inadequate enterprise-wide risk assessment, customer due diligence, and transaction monitoring. These shortcomings, such as insufficient scrutiny on third-party transactions and failure to identify high-risk customers and ascertain their sources of wealth, underscored their vulnerability to illicit activities.

The Aftermath

Furthermore, along with the S$2.5 million fine, MAS issued additional reprimands to SAFS's CEO, Olivier Pascal Mivelaz, and COO, Steve Knabl, for their lapse as senior management in ensuring regulatory compliance through oversight and internal audits. In response, SAFS has taken steps to rectify the identified deficiencies.

Addressing Growing Compliance Challenges

Cynopsis Solutions offers scalable solutions tailored to meet our client’s evolving compliance needs, seamlessly adapting to their business growth trajectory.

Artemis 3.0, by Cynopsis Solutions

Artemis 3.0 harnesses the power of globally recognized screening databases to furnish comprehensive profiles of high-risk individuals and entities. Through the integration of Artemis into their operations, clients can effectively mitigate exposure to potential financial crimes through their platforms.

Moreover, Artemis 3.0's advanced AI-powered Risk Assessment methodology surpasses conventional measures, empowering growing companies to scrutinise higher-risk customers. This capability enables companies to address pertinent risk factors associated with their customers and business activities in their enterprise-wide risk assessment.


In conclusion, the penalties imposed on SAFS demonstrates the importance of a robust AML/CFT measures, particularly amidst company growth. This serves as a wake-up call for Capital Markets Intermediaries to prioritise their regulatory requirements and adopt a proactive approach to risk management to ensure compliance functions evolve in tandem with business growth. Want to find out how else can Cynopsis help you and your organisation?




About Cynopsis Solutions   

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Cynopsis Solutions helps companies digitize and automate AML/KYC compliance processes. Our focus is on know-your-customer, anti-money laundering, and counter-terrorism financing. Cynopsis Solutions’ accolades include MAS FinTech Awards, RegTech100, and Financial Times Top 50 High Growth Companies in APAC. Our end-to-end KYC/AML solutions are designed according to the global FATF recommendations and applicable in more than 180 jurisdictions. We've helped firms across various industries, not limited to Banking and Financial Services, FinTech, Blockchain companies and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professionals.

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