Bloomberg News

Citigroup’s Sharma Says No Secrecy in Singapore Private Banking

October 27, 2011

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Deepak Sharma, chairman of Citigroup Inc.’s private bank, comments in an interview in Singapore on how the city-state’s wealth-management industry is responding to changes in international tax treaties.

On how tax treaties may affect private banking in Singapore:

“We want to develop Singapore as an industry based on the leading fundamental drivers, not based on any tweaking of tax treaties and stuff like that.

‘‘In order to do that, the industry has kept abreast of and clearly understands there are changes happening not just in Singapore, but they are happening in the U.S., in Switzerland. And the industry, in partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, pro-actively deals with it.’’

On whether there will be pressure on Singapore to review banking secrecy laws:

‘‘I would say there is a differentiation between confidentiality and secrecy. I think confidentiality is the right of every client. And I think that would be protected. So long as you start to look beyond confidentiality, with most regulators today I don’t think you can have any secrecy anywhere, because regulators know exactly which clients come and open accounts with you.’’

‘‘Clearly, all regulators around the world want to make sure that there are consistent standards when it comes to making sure that the money is legitimate, and they have the standards to make sure that any activity relating to money-laundering and terrorism is totally out.’’

--Editor: Nathaniel Espino

To contact the reporter on this story: Sanat Vallikappen in Singapore at vallikappen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net


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