Report: Australian senate quizzes bank over link to Ambank, 1MDB

ANZ owns a 25 per cent stake at AmBank, a Malaysian bank that previously held funds and also provided loans for debt-laden state investment firm 1MDB. — Reuters pic
ANZ owns a 25 per cent stake at AmBank, a Malaysian bank that previously held funds and also provided loans for debt-laden state investment firm 1MDB. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Australia’s senate has questioned Australian bank ANZ over its ties to Malaysia’s Ambank that once purportedly held “billions” of funds from Malaysian firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), The Australian reported today.

The Australian paper reported that ANZ deputy chief executive Graham Hodges appeared before a senate committee that is looking into constructive loan defaults, following claims that ANZ had governance questions that needed answering following Ambank’s dealings with 1MDB.

However, Hodges reportedly dismissed the allegations as being “simplistic”, pointing out that ANZ does not run Ambank and are merely directors at the bank.

ANZ owns a 25 per cent stake at AmBank, a Malaysian bank that previously held funds and also provided loans for debt-laden state investment firm 1MDB.

“We are directors at the bank, it is a separately listed public company,” Hodges reportedly said.

ANZ bought its stake in Ambank back in 2006 and has been holding it for almost 10 years now.

Ambank entered the spotlight when foreign media recently reported deposits of billions of ringgit into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s private accounts there.  

Putrajaya has said that the money was a political donation from Saudi Arabia.