Media Releases
Published Date: 18 July 2005

Explanatory Brief:  The Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses (Amendment) Bill 2005


1   The Minister for Education and Deputy Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today moved the Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses (Amendment) Bill 2005


for first reading in Parliament.

2   The Amendment Bill aims to fine-tune and better reflect MAS' supervisory approach of remittance houses. MAS does not supervise remittance houses for their safety and soundness. MAS' supervision of remittance houses and money-changers focuses on anti-money laundering (AML) and countering of terrorist financing (CFT) purposes. This approach is in line with the practices in other reputable financial centers where the supervisory oversight is scoped in this way. The amendments are aimed at raising the professional and AML/CFT standards in the remittance industry.


3   The MCRB(A) implements the following key changes to the Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses Act (Cap. 187)



(a) Requiring the Holder of a Remittance Licence to be Incorporated as a Company with Minimum Capital (Section 7B) - Currently, a holder of a remittance licence can be set up as a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a company. The proposed amendment will require the holder of a remittance licence to be incorporated as a company and to have a minimum capital of S$100,000.

(b) Expanding the Scope of MAS' Powers to Revoke and Suspend a Money-changer's Licence and Remittance Licence (Section 14) -

(i) The grounds under which MAS may revoke a money-changer's licence and remittance licence will be expanded to include cases where the licensee has failed to comply with any written direction issued to him or it by MAS;

(ii) A new provision will be introduced to empower MAS to suspend a money-changer's licence and remittance licence, in lieu of revocation; and

(iii) The circumstances under which a money-changer's licence and remittance licence will lapse or may be surrendered will be spelt out.

c) Extending the Liability of Losses Suffered under Certain Circumstances to Officers or Partners of a Licensee (Section 21) - Officers of a company or partners of a limited liability partnership are currently not liable for any losses suffered where the holder of a money-changer's licence or remittance licence, as the case may be, has carried on its business in a fraudulent manner. The proposed amendment will allow victims of fraud to have legal recourse to officers or partners of the licensee.

(d) Increasing the Quantum of Penalties - The quantum of penalties for certain offences under the MCRBA will be increased to provide more effective deterrent purpose.