NEW YORK (
) -- Indonesia's central bank has told 23 banks to stop taking on new wealth management clients in the wake of an alleged theft of client money by a
employee in the country, and the death of a customer at a local branch,
The group of lenders affected by the temporary halt includes
DBS Group Holdings
, the largest in Southeast Asia, according to the report.
ago after one of its executives was arrested and charged with stealing $1.9 million from three customers, according to the report and an April 7
Indonesia, the world's fifth most populous country, has a fast growing middle class, and is an important market for Citigroup and other banks. In February,
investment banking chief Jes Staley cited Indonesia as an important reason for his unit's "record year in Asia," in 2010.
The troubles in Indonesia are also worrisome for Citigroup since emerging markets growth is an important part of its pitch to investors.
Citigroup said earlier this month it had reported the relationship manager to regulators and the police and contacted "those who may be impacted by the relationship manager's activities," while planning to "work with them to address any losses."
As for Irzen Octa, the Citigroup customer who died, Citi's chief country officer for Indonesia told the country's parliament shortly after the March 29 incident that the bank has been "working very hard to understand what happened," and that "based on what we know today, we do not believe anyone physically harmed Mr. Octa when he came to our offices.
A U.S.-based spokesman for Citigroup had no immediate response to an email message asking if Citigroup had anything further to say on the issues in Indonesia.
Written by Dan Freed in New York
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.