Key Supervisory and Regulatory Initiatives

NEW REGULATIONS

Introducing a Regulatory Framework for Business Trusts and Trust Companies
MAS introduced a framework to regulate business trusts (BTs) under the Business Trusts Act. The Act was passed in Parliament in September 2004 and came into effect in January 2005. It regulates the governance of business enterprises set up as trusts rather than corporations. The introduction of the BT structure in Singapore creates a new asset class for investors and adds more depth and sophistication to Singapore's capital markets. The Securities and Futures Act (SFA) was also amended to regulate the offer of units in a BT, similar to the regulation of offers of shares.

The Trust Companies Act was passed in Parliament in February 2005. Trust companies are service providers that administer or act as trustee of a number of trusts. They may also create trusts or arrange for another person to act as a trustee. Trust Companies are currently regulated under the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) where registration of trust companies is voluntary. Under the new Trust Companies Act, which will be administered by MAS, licensing for service providers will be mandatory. The framework will increase legal clarity and guidance for trust companies and will ensure high standards of probity, professionalism and business conduct in the trust services industry.