MAS Welcomes International Initiative to Improve Banks’ Access to Cross-Border Financial Services
Singapore, 19 April 2018… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today its support for an initiative by the Wolfsberg Group1 to help arrest the decline in correspondent banking relationships and enhance banks’ ability to provide cross-border financial transactions.
2 Correspondent banking relationships, which allow banks to access financial services in jurisdictions outside their own and to provide cross-border payment services to their customers, have been declining in recent years, partly due to banks tightening anti-money laundering controls. Firms in impacted countries have been unable to send and receive international payments. This has, in turn, adversely affected trade and financial inclusion.
3 The Wolfsberg Group’s Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire (CBDDQ) will enable banks to more efficiently enter cross-border correspondent banking relationships. The Financial Action Taskforce had previously clarified that while its standards require correspondent banks to assess respondent banks’ risks and control practices, correspondent banks do not have to conduct customer due diligence on the customers of their respondent banks. The latest questionnaire from the Wolfsberg Group supports the FATF guidance by standardizing the information that correspondent banks should ask of respondent banks, to assess the latter’s risks and controls, when opening a correspondent relationship3.
4 Ms Ho Hern Shin, Assistant Managing Director, MAS said, “The CBDDQ will enhance global access to finance and promote trade. We urge banks in Singapore to incorporate the questionnaire into their risk assessment process for setting up cross-border correspondent banking relationships.”
The Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire (CBDDQ) was published by the Wolfsberg Group in February 2018. This was part of a range of multilateral efforts by the international community to arrest a global decline in the number of correspondent banking relationships, support international trade, and to enhance stability and integrity of the global financial system by reducing the use of unregulated or unlicensed payment services. The CBDDQ is available at the following link: https://www.wolfsberg-principles.com/wolfsbergcb
1 The Wolfsberg Group is an industry association comprised of 13 global banks that aims to develop frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks, know your customer (KYC), anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) policies.