The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday (15 July 2014) issued a consultation paper on proposed amendments to its notices to financial institutions on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.
According to the central bank, the proposed amendments drew reference from international best practices and the latest recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). FATF is an intergovernmental body that sets the global standard for measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of proliferation.
In a press statement, MAS said that the proposed amendments will :
- require financial institutions to perform money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment at the wider institutional level, in addition to assessing the money laundering and terrorist financing risk of individual customers;
- elaborate on the steps to be taken by financial institutions to identify and verify beneficial ownership of non-individual customers such as companies and trusts;
- formalise the need for financial institutions to screen customers and their connected parties;
- cater for a risk-based approach for certain categories of Politically Exposed Persons;
- implement additional requirements for cross-border wire transfers exceeding S$1,500 (US$1,120) such as customer due diligence on occasional transactions and minimum information fields in the message or payment instructions.
These new measures will not only further safeguard Singapore's financial system from being used to launder money or finance terrorism, but also help the republic to score well in the assessment of its anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regime by the FATF in 2015, said Ong Chong Tee, deputy managing director of MAS.
The consultation paper is now available on MAS' website. Interested parties may email their comments to MAS by 14 August 2014.
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