Kuala Lumpur: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is taking aggressive measures to combat illegal financial schemes as part of the central bank’s zero tolerance policy on operators and investors knowingly participating in illegal financial activities.
Governor Muhammad Ibrahim said, as at May 2, 238 suspicious accounts were closed by financial institutions.
“Of the number, 108 accounts were listed under Bank Negara’s financial customer alert due to public complaints,” he said at a press conference after announcing Malaysia’s first quarter Gross Domestic Product growth here today.
Under the Financial Services Act 2013, individuals or businesses involved in illegal financial activities can be fined up to RM50 million and imprisoned for 10 years.
The Act provides for the regulation and supervision of financial institutions, payment systems and other relevant entities and the oversight of the money market and foreign exchange market to promote financial stability and for related, consequential or incidental matters.
“Any return on investment that offered beyond 20% is unrealistic,” Muhammad said, adding that unit trusts were the best portfolio manager as it offered returns of around 6-7%.
He explained that accounts with a high level of suspicion would be closed and the money returned to the account owner.
“The funds will only be seized or frozen if ordered by the court,” he added.
BNM also conducted coordinated measures that included the Attorney-General’s Chambers which would lead the inter-agency committee for joint enforcement against illegal financial activities.