Changes have been proposed to a bill that seeks to strengthen Singapore's defences against money laundering and terrorism financing.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam moved the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Amendments Bill for first reading in Parliament on Monday (13 April 2015).
According to him, the amendments will allow Singapore to align its regime with the international AML/CFT standards set the Financial Action Task Force and the Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision issued by the Basel Committee.
Under the new bill, financial regulator will be able to inspect financial institutions for anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT). Financial institutions include holders of stored value facilities and non-bank credit card or charge charge issuers.
MAS is also allowed to appoint a third party to inspect a financial institution on its behalf under the new Act
Besides that, the new bill will enable MAS to provide information to foreign AML/CFT supervisors, subject to strong safeguards. This assistance, however, will only be rendered in relation to bona fide requests. AML/CFT supervisors will also need to ensure that the information obtained is only used for the specified purpose, and protect the confidentiality of that information.
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