On 18 July 2001, the Banking (Amendment) Act brought into force several new policy measures. These measures included the separation of financial and non-financial businesses of local banking groups, the revision of the rules on property-related loans to more effectively monitor banks exposure to the property sector, and the revision of ownership rules to ensure that the control of Singapore-incorporated banks continues to rest with individuals or groups that will act in a manner consistent with national interest and the interest of the bank.
The Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and the Financial Advisers Act (FAA) were passed by Parliament in October 2001 after having gone through a public consultation process. The SFA consolidates legislation relating to capital markets activities in Singapore. It puts into place major policy reforms and updates the legislative framework to keep abreast of new developments in Singapores capital markets. The SFA also provides the legislative frame-work for a disclosure-based regime and enhances the present enforcement framework for market misconduct. The FAA consolidates and streamlines the different regulatory regimes governing the provision of financial advisory services, including the sale of collective investment schemes and life insurance, into a single piece of legislation. The FAA will provide a more flexible and integrated regulatory framework for entities engaging in financial advisory activities. It will also promote consistent professional standards across the industry. The SFA is being implemented in phases, and the final phase will be introduced by the third quarter of 2002. The FAA will also come into force at the same time.