MAS Imposes Composition Penalty of $1,100,000 on Asiaciti Trust Singapore Pte Ltd for AML/CFT Failures
Singapore, 22 July 2020 … The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed a composition penalty of $1,100,000 on Asiaciti Trust Singapore Pte Ltd (ATSPL) for its failure to comply with MAS’ Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements. These failures were identified by MAS in an inspection. ATSPL has paid the penalty in full and taken remedial actions to address the risk management deficiencies that led to the breaches.
2 MAS found that between 2007 and 2018, ATSPL committed serious breaches of MAS’ AML/CFT requirements for trust companies. ATSPL did not implement adequate AML/CFT policies and procedures, and did not subject its AML/CFT controls to independent audits. These failings hindered ATSPL’s ability to detect and mitigate ML/TF risks associated with its higher-risk customers. In particular:
(a) Procedures to determine if its business contact with trust relevant parties
(b) Enhanced monitoring of higher-risk customers was not conducted. In particular, ATSPL did not inquire into the background and purpose of unusually large transactions with no obvious economic purpose, undertaken by customers who were politically exposed persons
3 The penalty amount took into account ATSPL’s response to MAS’ findings. ATSPL has taken remedial measures to address the deficiencies identified by MAS, including conducting a review of customer accounts and transactions, terminating a number of higher-risk trust accounts and filing suspicious transaction reports.
4 Ms Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments & Financial Crime), MAS, said: “Financial institutions must play their part in detecting and disrupting attempts to abuse our financial system for illicit purposes. Trust companies are required to implement robust AML/CFT controls, with policies and processes that effectively mitigate risks from vehicles or trust structures of customers . MAS will not hesitate to take action against FIs that fail to meet the standard required under our AML/CFT regulations.”
Composition of AML/CFT offences
MAS’ AML/CFT requirements for trust companies are set out in MAS Notice TCA-N03 on Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism – Trust Companies. Each breach of Notice TCA-N03 is an offence punishable under section 27B(2) of the MAS Act, where the maximum prescribed fine is $1,000,000 per offence. The breach is compounded under section 176 of the MAS Act.