Responsible and Trusted Financial Centre

Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Industry Partnership (ACIP) continued to collaborate and share best practices to guard against money laundering and terrorism financing risks


ACIP had set up case specific investigation taskforces to pool public and private sector expertise on high priority and complex cases. ACIP also published advisories to provide timelier alerts of serious emerging threats, so that financial institutions could better detect and report suspicious transactions to the authorities.  To encourage the broader adoption of Data Analytics (DA) in AML/CFT, ACIP conducted a DA industry workshop to share successful cases, implementation issues, and initiatives to start building DA capabilities.

MAS organised town-hall sessions for banks, capital market intermediaries and insurers to share supervisory expectations on managing money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risks


These sessions provided useful industry views on key risk management challenges to sharpen MAS’ supervisory guidance.

MAS inspected banks to examine effectiveness at detecting and disrupting illicit activities using shell and front companies

June 2019

Following the thematic inspection, MAS published a set of supervisory guidance for banks to proactively detect the misuse of shell and front companies, with illustrative cases of criminal modus operandi and the good practices to detect and mitigate these risks. In addition, MAS and the Commercial Affairs Department worked with the media to warn the public against facilitating such criminal schemes.

Strengthening oversight of financial institutions’ Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) and tackling money laundering, terrorism financing and other illicit activities


  • MAS would be working with systemically important banks to elevate their AML/CFT control effectiveness through robust governance, sharper risk surveillance and effective controls execution. This would also include implementing roadmaps to target significant ML/TF risk areas and sanctions evasion such as the misuse of shell and front companies and trade-based money laundering. 
  • MAS would be adding transactional information and companies’ business profiles to augment our network analysis of suspicious transactions reports filed by financial institutions (FIs). This would enable more effective identification of higher risk activities and allows MAS to target relevant accounts and transactions intermediated by FIs for supervision of their controls.
  • MAS conducted a series of thematic inspections to underscore the importance of strong oversight by capital market intermediaries of their service providers who performed key AML/CFT controls such as conducting customer due diligence, screening and periodic reviews of customer accounts. This was to ensure AML/CFT controls were implemented effectively. The key observations from the thematic inspections were shared via a guidance paper to the industry.

Singapore renewed its co-chairmanship at the Financial Action Taskforce’s (FATF) Policy Development Group and continues to work to strengthen international standards

June 2019

In this capacity, Singapore helped to lead the enhancement of global AML/CFT standards for virtual assets activities and the creation of guidance on the use of Digital Identities for customer identification and authentication, thus facilitating greater adoption of online financial services.

MAS introduced risk-proportionate AML/CFT requirements on entities that provide exchange services for virtual assets to mitigate potential money laundering and terrorism financing risks

December 2019

These entities would be regulated as digital payment token (DPT) service providers under the Payment Services Act. In addition, MAS also conducted public consultations on plans to expand regulation to other virtual assets services providers, to be fully aligned with the new FATF standards. These legislative amendments would be put in place over the course of 2020.