Govt, AmBank unit agree on RM2.83 bil 1MDB scandal settlement

Out-of-court deal saves cost, time, resources; benefits Malaysian people, says finance minister

KUALA LUMPUR : The Finance Ministry and AmBank Group’s investment holding company AMMB Holdings Berhad have agreed to a RM2.83 billion global settlement over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

 In a statement, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the settlement covered all outstanding claims and actions relating to the lender’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal.

 He said this was part of the government’s ongoing recovery efforts it was pursuing against all those directly or indirectly involved with 1MDB and its related entities.

“This latest settlement is beneficial for the Malaysian people. Resolving this through the court system would have cost a lot of time, money and resources,” he said here today.

“With this settlement, the payment of the monies will be expedited, instead of being held up by lengthy court battles, and can be utilised to fulfil 1MDB’s outstanding obligations.”

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz says the latest deal follows other ‘successful’ negotiations such as Goldman Sachs’ US$3.9 billion settlement in July 2020. – Bernama pic

Tengku Zafrul said the latest deal follows other “successful” negotiations such as Goldman Sachs’ US$3.9 billion (RM15.8 billion) settlement in July 2020.

He said the settlements will not absolve other entities and individuals of their alleged wrongful involvement in 1MDB. 

He added the parties involved will continue to be pursued through the criminal justice system.

The finance minister also said the global settlement by AMMB Holdings Berhad also addresses the Securities Commission Malaysia’s (SC) requirements on compliance with its laws and guidelines.

He said as part of the terms for the global settlement, the SC will require AmInvestment Bank Berhad to take corrective measures. 

This includes putting in place systems and processes to strengthen their due diligence framework for submission of corporate proposals.

Tengku Zafrul said the settlement amount is in addition to the RM53.7 million fine already imposed by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and paid by the AmBank Group.

He noted that the AmBank Group has taken “comprehensive measures” to address the lapses associated with these transactions, including a remediation programme that BNM required the AmBank Group to implement under the leadership of a new board and senior management team. 

He said with such measures, the AmBank Group is “well placed” to continue safeguarding depositors’ funds and shareholders’ interests, and its future growth.

He noted that the global settlement will not affect or compromise Malaysia’s claims against individuals such as Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, Jasmine Loo and other parties related to the scandal.

“The Ministry of Finance would like to thank the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Securities Commission Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia, Royal Malaysia Police Force, National Anti-Financial Crime Centre, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, and National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption for their efforts in achieving this settlement,” he said.

By : A. Azim Idris – THE VIBES

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