ROBUST, TRUSTED, DYNAMIC AND
PURPOSEFUL FINANCIAL CENTRE
- A ROBUST FINANCIAL CENTRE
- Industry Tests
- Securities, Futures and Over-the-Counter Derivatives
- International Supervisory Cooperation
A ROBUST FINANCIAL CENTRE
MAS Enforcement Monograph
MAS issued an Enforcement Monograph to provide investors and market participants with information on the market enforcement regime in Singapore.
The Enforcement Monograph sets out the aims of MAS' enforcement function and the guiding principles behind MAS' enforcement philosophy and sheds light on the processes and investigation powers involved in policing market misconduct. It also highlights MAS' efforts to achieve credible deterrence and uphold an effective market enforcement regime.
In addition, the Enforcement Monograph elaborates on MAS' active participation and continuous efforts in the area of international cooperation. MAS recognises the importance of international cooperation and the need for the exchange of information in enabling the effective enforcement of laws and regulations for securities and derivatives. On a regular basis, MAS works closely with foreign securities regulators to provide assistance and exchange of information under the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Multilateral MOU, and has contributed to many successful outcomes in enforcement action by foreign securities regulators in their jurisdictions.
Finally, the Monograph provides insight into the entire enforcement process. This ranges from the surveillance tools and sources of market intelligence that MAS relies on to detect market misconduct, to the powers that MAS uses to conduct investigations. It concludes with the spectrum of enforcement actions that can be taken by MAS and other authorities depending on the severity and nature of the misconduct.
MAS-CAD Joint Investigations
In March 2015, MAS and the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) started a new arrangement to jointly investigate market misconduct offences such as insider trading and market manipulation under Part XII of the SFA. With this, selected MAS officers are also gazetted as Commercial Affairs Officers, which allows them the use of criminal powers of investigation.
The new arrangement enables MAS and CAD to consolidate their investigative resources and expertise, and both agencies will now be able to pursue either prosecution or civil penalty action. This provides a calibrated approach in meting out more deterrent enforcement actions and further strengthens public trust and confidence in Singapore's capital markets.
In 2014, MAS was awarded the largest default judgment for insider trading imposed against an individual in the past decade. The sum comprised a civil penalty amount of S$2,865,414.75 for insider trading and a further sum of S$100,000 for the employment of manipulative and deceptive devices in connection with the purchase and sale of securities. Separately, MAS imposed a civil penalty of S$50,000 on his accomplice for the employment of manipulative and deceptive devices in connection with the purchase and sale of securities.
In another case, MAS took civil penalty action against a former relationship manager for insider trading. He paid a penalty of S$50,000 and was prohibited from engaging in financial advisory services for a period of three years.
In the first quarter of 2015, MAS took two civil penalty actions. The first was against a former Chief Executive Officer of a listed company for making misleading disclosures to the market and for material omissions regarding the company. He paid a civil penalty of S$2.5 million and undertook to voluntarily surrender a portion of his shareholding in the company, as well as undertaking not to assume the role of director or be involved in management of any listed entity on SGX for a period of three years. This was the first civil penalty settlement that directly benefitted existing shareholders of the company through the increase in the net asset value per share.
The second civil penalty action was against a former remisier for false trading. MAS issued him a penalty of S$157,000 and prohibited him from engaging in regulated activities for a period of two years.
Between April 2014 and March 2015, MAS also published a total of 23 formal regulatory and enforcement actions against companies and individuals for market conduct breaches. These actions include reprimands, composition fines, civil penalties and prohibition orders. Over this period, MAS took other regulatory and administrative actions in another 365 cases.