Responsible and Trusted Financial Centre

Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

MAS uses data analytics to detect suspicious activities for sharper scrutiny (Ongoing)
MAS applies network analysis to Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) to identify groups of related STRs filed across financial institutions, and over time. This analysis, combined with other information and data sources, allows MAS to identify and focus supervisory attention on financial institutions affected by networks of higher-risk accounts, entities or behaviour. This also helps MAS identify emerging typologies, and evolving red flags that in turn serve as inputs to the supervisory process.
MAS partners industry to promote the use of data analytics and share best practices to disrupt financial crime (18 May 2018 to 29 November 2018)
The best practices papers to combat abuse of legal persons and trade based money laundering were produced by the AML/CFT Industry Partnership (ACIP). It also highlighted typologies and case studies to heighten industry awareness of these risks. The ACIP Data Analytics paper discussed use cases where data analytics have been deployed for AML/CFT.
 

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MAS conducted supervisory examinations on banks related to proliferation financing and transaction monitoring, and also inspected higher risk capital market entities (13 August 2018 to 4 January 2019)
MAS issued guidance papers after these examinations to highlight the findings and set out supervisory expectations on the key areas of control improvements. To ensure AML/CFT effectiveness, there should be robust governance, underpinned by strong risk awareness and effective execution of frameworks, systems and controls. MAS expects senior management of financial institutions to set the tone from the top, and to put in place adequate control measures to address ML/TF risks. From MAS’ supervisory reviews, improvements in the management of ML/TF risks were noted. Financial institutions’ boards and senior management have strengthened oversight of ML/TF matters and staff accountability (including front line staff) for ML/TF risk detection. Through supervisory engagements, MAS is driving continuous improvements in the effectiveness of controls, through embedding good practices and reinforcement of strong risk culture and awareness. As ML/TF schemes and typologies are increasingly sophisticated, MAS is also steering industry towards the application of more advanced technologies to enhance capabilities in detecting anomalies in customers’ behaviours, emerging risks and complex typologies.

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Singapore established automatic exchange of information (AEOI) relationships with 86 jurisdictions (May 2019)
This reaffirms Singapore’s commitment to the international standards on transparency and tax cooperation. As of May 2019, Singapore has established AEOI relationships with 86 jurisdictions. The first exchanges of information took place with 64 jurisdictions in September 2018The 64 jurisdictions that Singapore has commenced AEOI exchanges with are: Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Cook Islands, Croatia, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Montserrat, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Uruguay. Singapore will be commencing AEOI in 2019/2020 with the remaining 22 jurisdictions: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Greenland, Grenada, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Macau, Monaco, Panama, Qatar, Switzerland, Turks & Caicos Islands, UAE, Vanuatu, including key private banking markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia and China.


Related Links to Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Enforcement Against Breaches

Enforcement Against Breaches

Prohibition orders ranging between one and seven years were issued against five insurance agents and a relationship manager for mis-selling investment products (17 May 2018)
MAS' investigations revealed various types of misconduct committed by these individuals including forgery, providing financial advice without due consideration for the clients’ financial situation and making false or misleading statements to clients. Where the misconduct involved vulnerable clients, this resulted in lengthier prohibition periods. This is the first time MAS has issued prohibition orders against insurance agents for mis-selling breaches.

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MAS halted two digital token offerings (24 May 2018 and 24 January 2019) and issued advisories to eight digital token exchanges in Singapore (24 January 2019)
MAS issued warnings to two initial coin offering issuers who did not comply with regulatory requirements under the Securities and Futures Act. Following the warning, one issuer who had made offers to Singapore-based investors ceased the offer and returned the funds received from these investors. The other issuer suspended its global offering of securities tokens. Eight digital token exchanges in Singapore were reminded not to facilitate trading in digital tokens that are securities or futures contracts without MAS’ authorisation. As part of the advisories, MAS also reminded consumers to better understand the benefits and risks of any product or service before committing to an investment.

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MAS published an updated Enforcement Monograph (24 September 2018) 
The Monograph was extended to cover enforcement functions in the banking and insurance sectors following the centralisation of MAS’ enforcement functions within a single department. The Monograph provides greater clarity and transparency into how MAS deters, detects, investigates and takes action against breaches of MAS’ rules and regulations.

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MAS published the inaugural Enforcement Report (20 March 2019) 
The Report provides greater accountability and transparency of MAS' enforcement role. It describes MAS’ enforcement priorities and details the actions taken against breaches of MAS’ rules and regulations from July 2017 to December 2018, the time taken to complete investigations. It also highlights key initiatives that MAS has undertaken to develop its enforcement capabilities. The Report will be published every 18 months.

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Good Culture and Conduct

Good Culture and Conduct

MAS consulted on guidelines to strengthen individual accountability and raise standards of conduct in financial institutions (26 April 2018)
This is intended to foster a culture of ethical behaviour and responsible risk-taking in the financial industry. The guidelines will reinforce financial institutions’ responsibilities in three key areas: (a) promoting individual accountability of senior managers; (b) strengthening oversight of employees in material risk functions; and (c) embedding standards of proper conduct among all employees.

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MAS issued an information paper on incentive structures in the banking industry (28 March 2019)
This follows a series of thematic inspections MAS conducted on the incentive structures of selected banks in 2018, in recognition of the fundamental role of incentives in influencing behaviour and outcomes, such as performance evaluation of staff, remuneration frameworks and ethical behaviour. The information paper highlights good practices and illustrative examples observed from the inspections. It also sets out the desired outcomes relating to incentive structures that MAS expects to see in banks.

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MAS conducted engagement sessions with the industry to share MAS’ expectations on good culture and conduct practices (March to May 2019)
MAS organised more than 10 engagement sessions with various groups of financial institutions to share our expectations, good practices and international developments relating to culture and conduct, covering individual accountability, incentive structures and reference checks. The sessions were attended by chief executives and other senior managers from more than 680 financial institutions.

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Establishment of Banking Industry Culture and Conduct Steering Group (CCSG) (22 May 2019)
MAS and The Association of Banks in Singapore worked together to set up the CCSG to drive industry culture and conduct initiatives. The CCSG serves as a platform for industry participants to identify and share good culture and conduct practices, monitor and identify trends and emerging issues, and collaborate with MAS on initiatives to strengthen such practices.

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Safeguarding Consumer Interests

Safeguarding Consumer Interests

MAS enhanced the disclosure for life insurance products (29 June 2018)
MAS introduced two new point-of-sale disclosure documents to enhance consumers’ understanding of life insurance policies. These are the Cover Page and Bundled Product Disclosure document. The former highlights key features of the life insurance product. The latter alerts consumers to the option of buying a term life insurance product and investing separately, as an alternative to buying an insurance product with investment features.

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Parliament approved enhancements to the Deposit Insurance (DI) and Policy Owners’ Protection Schemes (9 July 2018)
Salient changes include (i) increasing DI coverage from S$50,000 to S$75,000 per depositor in Singapore; and (ii) clarifying the definition of a “personal” insurance policy as one that is owned by a natural person. MAS has also recently introduced caps on a per policy basis, for own property damage motor claims ($50,000) under personal motor insurance policies and property damage claims under personal property insurance ($300,000).

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MAS issued guidelines to facilitate the provision of digital advisory services (8 October 2018)
The guidelines provide clarity on the application of existing rules in the context of digital advisory services, and set out refinements in requirements to facilitate the provision of such services. This facilitates the delivery of digital advice efficiently to consumers, and provides investors with more options while maintaining adequate safeguards to protect their interests.

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