MAS continues to contribute to the development and dissemination of global regulatory standards on market integrity. We are fully committed to AML and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) measures taken by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and its associated body, the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG). As a member of FATF, MAS works with international regulatory bodies in setting high standards against money laundering and terrorism financing.
MAS revised the AML/CFT Notices to keep them in line with the latest standards developed by the FATF. In revising the Notices, MAS worked closely with the industry and conducted two rounds of public consultations. The revised Notices, which came into effect in March and April 2007 for the different financial sectors, incorporated a number of key changes such as a more rigorous set of Customer Due Diligence (CDD) measures. They also introduced an element of risk sensitivity in CDD, requiring enhanced due diligence measures for higher -risk customers such as politically exposed persons, and allowing simplified due diligence in very low risk situations. The Notices also operationalised FATF's Special Recommendation on cross-border wire transfers and imposed legally binding obligations on the respective financial sectors.
In line with our risk-based supervision, AML/CFT inspections were conducted as part of regular inspections of the financial institutions to ensure the adequacy of their AML/CFT policies, procedures and controls as well as their compliance with MAS’ regulations. Between April 2006 and March 2007, MAS conducted AML/CFT inspections of 26 banks and merchant banks, three insurance companies, 32 capital markets licencees, 15 exempt fund managers and 10 money changers and remittance agents. We are continuing such inspections as part of our ongoing supervision.