Response to "Singapore Bank Laws Threaten EU Pact" (Financial Times, 02 October 2007)
In "Singapore Bank Laws Threaten EU Pact" (FT, 2 Oct), Mr John Burton said it was suspected that Myanmar's leaders were 'hiding large sums in Singapore' and using it as a 'financial haven'. This is completely baseless. It is also unrelated to the issue that the EU has sought to discuss with Singapore, which relates to withholding tax on customer savings. The EU has had to negotiate this not just with Singapore, but also other jurisdictions. It is therefore disingenuous to link this issue with spurious allegations and calls for more sanctions on Myanmar.
2 As a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Singapore operates a rigorous regime against money laundering and financing of terrorism. We require all financial institutions to institute strict procedures, including the need to identify and know their customers, and to report all suspicious transactions. Our banking and financial system is open and transparent, and our rules vigorously enforced. This is the reputation that Singapore strives to uphold.