Wee Soon Tan, Deutsche Bank’s head of anti-financial crime for Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, has departed for DBS. The hire is a coup for DBS as competition for talent in financial-crime compliance is heating up among major banks in Singapore.
Tan joined DBS’s financial crime securities services (FCSS) advisory unit last month at executive director level. During his seven-year stint at Deutsche in Singapore Tan also held several other senior compliance roles including regional anti-money laundering coordinator, regional controls officer, and APAC business partner for asset management and wealth management, according to his online profile.
He is not the only senior financial crime professional to have left a global bank for a Singaporean bank in recent weeks. As we reported in July, Beaver Chua, formerly HSBC’s head of financial crime compliance in Singapore, is now head of group policy governance, and anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism at OCBC.
Hiring within the function is partly driven by banks in Singapore stepping up their efforts to detect financial crime in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, which involved several banks in the Republic. In May, for example, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Industry Partnership – a pact formed in 2017 between the government and financial firms – recommended that banks share a standard format of data submission with regulators.
Skill shortages are also fuelling senior recruitment as banks are forced to replace staff who are poached by competitors, says Orelia Chan, associate director of financial services at Profile Search & Selection in Singapore.
Prior to joining Deutsche, Tan spent almost four years at UBS in Singapore, most recently as APAC head of training for legal and compliance. The NUS law graduate worked for six and a half years in the Singapore Attorney-General's Chambers, latterly as Deputy Public Prosecutor and State Counsel, at the start of his career.
FCSS advisory at Tan’s new firm, DBS, is headed up by Lydia Low, who joined the bank in 2015 and has 18 years’ experience in banking compliance, including at J.P. Morgan, BNY Mellon and Citi. DBS currently has four Singapore-based financial crime vacancies on its careers website, from associate to senior VP level.
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