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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Hong Kong Fines Goldman Sachs $350 Million over 1Malaysia Development Berhad Bribery Scandal

Hong Kong’s financial watchdog fined the Asian unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. $350 million for its involvement in the state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad bribery scandal, the regulator said on Thursday.

Hong Kong’s financial watchdog fined the Asian unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. $350 million for its involvement in the state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad bribery scandal, the regulator said on Thursday.

According to Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), it has discovered “serious lapses and deficiencies in its management supervisory, risk, compliance, and anti-money laundering controls” in the Asian division of the investment banking giant.

The commission said that Goldman’s severe and negligence of its responsibilities while managing the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it organized for 1MDB gravely contributed to the misappropriation of approximately $4.5 billion.

“Goldman Sachs Asia fell far short of the standards expected of a licensed intermediary in the 1MDB case and suffered not only reputational damage from its own failures, but also brought the securities industry into disrepute,” Thomas Atkinson, the executive director for SFC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement.

SFC said that Goldman Asia unit’s has accepted its findings and agreed to comply for the settlement of the regulator’s disciplinary action.

“The penalty in this case – assessed solely in accordance with Hong Kong’s own fining framework – reflects our findings that Goldman Sachs Asia failed to deal properly with numerous suspicious circumstances surrounding the 1MDB bond offerings,” SFC Chief Executive Ashley Adler said.

This is the heftiest fine ever imposed by the financial watchdog.

SFC’s move came days after the massive $2 billion fine that the U.S. Department of Justice levied against the investment banking giant also because of its role in the multibillion-dollar scandal.

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