DBS hires from abroad for top crime-fighting job

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As local talent shortages begin to bite, DBS has recruited from abroad for the latest senior addition to its expanding financial crime compliance (FCC) team.

Hardy Singh moved to DBS earlier this month from National Australia Bank in Melbourne as group head of transactions surveillance, financial crime and security services, according to his online profile. He was with NAB for two and a half years, working in FCC for business and private banking, and corporate and institutional banking.

As we noted in April, although demand for generalist compliance professionals has fallen in Singapore over the past 18 months, it remains strong for senior FCC specialists. DBS alone currently has five Singapore-based vacancies (based within its group legal, compliance and secretariat division) that demand FCC skills.

Other banks – in particular OCBC, UOB, Citi and Standard Chartered – are also ramping up recruitment in the function, which is leaving Singapore-based talent in short supply and often forcing banks to look overseas for senior staff. The tight labour market in FCC means that most overseas candidates at VP level and above are still being granted Employment Passes, despite recent government restrictions on immigration.

In July, OCBC recruited Beaver Chua, a police officer-turned compliance expert, from HSBC as its head of group policy governance, and anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism Singapore.

Hiring across the FCC sector is partly driven by banks in Singapore stepping up their efforts to detect money-laundering activities in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, which involved several banks in the city state. 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.

New DBS recruit Hardy started his career at ANZ in Melbourne in 2008, where he latterly worked as a compliance analyst in anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorism financing (CTF). He then did a six-year stint at Citi in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia, most recently as a Sydney-based AML/CTF and sanctions process and control senior manager.

Image credit: Getty

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