Morgan Stanley under multi-agency scrutiny for suspected money laundering.


As early as November last year, there were reports that certain divisions of Morgan Stanley were involved in a money laundering issue and were under investigation and review, with more media outlets recently beginning to discuss the incident.

Legal issues have always been a major concern for major companies in the United States, especially financial institutions. In November last year, there were media reports claiming that the Federal Reserve had set its sights on Morgan Stanley, particularly the bank's wealth management division, mainly to prevent the division from assisting wealthy foreign clients in money laundering.

Recently, this topic has been raised again, and now it has involved multiple regulatory agencies, intensifying the scrutiny on the bank's money laundering practices, with the focus still on the wealth management division.

According to relevant U.S. laws, banks must verify the identity and source of funds of their clients, making the wealth management division prone to money laundering related issues. Now, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and other departments of the U.S. Treasury are all participating in the investigation of Morgan Stanley. The main directions of this investigation include whether Morgan Stanley has fulfilled its due diligence responsibilities, whether it has conducted adequate and comprehensive reviews of clients' identities and sources of funds, and whether Morgan Stanley has monitored the financial activities of its clients.

Media reports claim that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent a list of clients and former clients suspected of money laundering directly to Morgan Stanley. The main inquiries from the SEC to the bank include two aspects: the review process of these suspected money laundering clients and why Morgan Stanley continued to engage with those clients after clearly knowing that some of them posed risks.

After the news of the joint investigation by multiple departments was reported, Morgan Stanley's stock price has plummeted, with the decline already exceeding 5%. If this issue is not properly resolved, the decline could continue significantly, leading to more severe consequences.


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