By Rachel Armstrong and Lee Chyen Yee
SINGAPORE Dec 5 Bank statements for almost 650
of Standard Chartered Plc's private banking clients
have been found on the laptop of an alleged website hacker in
Singapore, the police and the British lender said on Thursday.
Standard Chartered said the February 2013 monthly statements
for 647 of its clients were stolen, taken from the server of
Fuji Xerox which provides printing services to the bank.
"The confidentiality and privacy of our clients are of
paramount importance to us, and we take this incident very
seriously," said Ray Ferguson, chief executive of Standard
Chartered Singapore in a statement.
Singapore Police Force said the data was found on a laptop
belonging to James Raj Arokiasamy. Raj is currently in custody
in Singapore after he was charged last month under cyber
security rules for allegedly hacking into a local government
website using the moniker "The Messiah".
Private banks around the world are particularly sensitive
about client data, as a lucrative market has emerged for such
information with western governments clamping down on tax
Several banks in Switzerland have had data stolen over the
past five years, with some of the information making its way
into the hands of governments, including Germany, which paid to
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it was aware
of the matter and investigating.
"We will review SCB's (Standard Chartered Bank)
investigation report and consider if regulatory action against
the bank is warranted," the central bank said in a statement.
MAS added it believed the incident was an isolated case but
said it had reminded all financial institutions to safeguard
their IT systems and customer information.
Standard Chartered said it had not found any evidence that
unauthorised transactions had resulted from the incident and
that it was contacting the clients whose statements were taken.
It added that customers from its retail and other banking
units had not been affected.
Fuji Xerox Singapore said it had taken appropriate action to
protect its servers and a forensic team was conducting a review.