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Bank Indonesia freezes wealth accounts

Bank Indonesia freezes wealth accounts

(2 May 2011 – Indonesia) Indonesia’s central bank has said that it has uncovered knowledge of an employee of Citigroup Inc allegedly stealing money from clients, prompting a freeze on wealth accounts for a month. Banks including DBS Group, Southeast Asia’s biggest lender, were told by Bank Indonesia to stop acquiring premium or high-value customers beginning today.

Bank Indonesia deputy governor Halim Alamsyah said that in the meantime banks have been asked to improve their policies, standard operating procedures and internal supervision as part of an effort to improve the service quality and protection of customers.

A credit-card holder had also died at a Citigroup branch on March 29 following meetings with debt collectors, prompting a deeper look at the bank’s practices.

DBS Group chief executive officer Piyush Gupta said Bank Indonesia had asked all banks to review their entire customer acquisition process and strategy.

"Once they’ve given everybody a clean bill of health, they’ll sort of reopen the spigot," Mr Gupta said.
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