, Singapore

MAS strengthens vigilance against money laundering and terrorism financing

They upgraded their data analytics usage for better identification of high-risk areas.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore will beef up its efforts to help raise vigilance in anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (CFC), MAS assistant managing director of banking and insurance group Ho Hern Shin said.

Ho said that MAS will take on a stronger leverage on technology especially data analytics. She added that it can significantly augment their ability to identify higher risk areas.

MAS upgraded their usage of analytical tools to aid them in comprehending agency data. Ho mentioned that MAS received more than 25,000 suspicious transcation reports (STRs) from regulated financial institutions.

“Applying data analytics to this data set has enabled us to identify suspicious funds flow networks, and focus our supervisory attention on networks of higher
risk accounts, entities or activities,” Ho said.

MAS have collaborated with the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office (STRO) on the re-design of the STR forms which will be launched in August. The two agencies are also working on the implementation of the new STRO Online Notices And Reporting platform (SONAR).

In addition, Ho revealed that the government has formed an inter-agency working group to further track key ML/TF risks, prioritise cases for investigation, and to facilitate cases against them.

Ho urged banks to adopt “more fine-grained” and sophisticated techniques in regards to ML/TF risks in terms of maintaining customer relationships.

“For example, we would occasionally receive feedback from ex-offenders who have been denied a bank account,” she explained.

“To be clear, we stand with banks that the misuse of bank accounts for illicit purposes should not be condoned,” Ho said. “However, it is important to strike a balance  between addressing ML/TF risks and meeting basic banking needs.”

Meanwhile, she noted that their supervisory visits have helped banks to adopt more measures in order to identify and solve proliferation financing (PF) risks.

“This includes corroborating shipping information provided by customers with sources form third party service providers, such as Lloyd’s List, and the International Maritime Bureau,” Shin explained.

She added that some banks have also conducted reviews of customer databases to check previous transactions with individuals having proliferation concern.

Since you're here...

...there are many ways you can work with us to advertise your company and connect to your customers. Our team can help you dight and create an advertising campaign, in print and digital, on this website and in print magazine.

We can also organize a real life or digital event for you and find thought leader speakers as well as industry leaders, who could be your potential partners, to join the event. We also run some awards programmes which give you an opportunity to be recognized for your achievements during the year and you can join this as a participant or a sponsor.

Let us help you drive your business forward with a good partnership!

Get Singapore Business Review in your inbox
They failed to properly monitor individuals onboarded as advisors, directors. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has reprimanded AIA Financial Advisers Private Limited (AIA FA), Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, Aviva Ltd. and Aviva Financial Advisers (Aviva FA) for breaches of requirements relating to risk management arrangements and the remuneration of supervisors. MAS also reprimanded Aviva FA’s CEO and director Chee Book Chai Lionel for his failure to discharge the duties of his office; and Peter Tan Shou Yi, a consultant engaged by Aviva, for accepting remuneration in breach of regulatory requirements, the regulator added in the press release. Singapore’s regulator revealed that it found numerous instances where remuneration was paid to supervisors in contravention of requirements under the Financial Advisers Act (FAA). These are related to the Balanced Scorecard requirements (BSC) for the sale of investment products, and the Spreading and Capping of Commissions requirements (SCC) for the sale of regular premium life policies. Under the BSC, supervisors’ and representatives’ variable income are determined with reference to the fulfillment of non-sales key performance indicators (KPIs); whilst under the SCC, insurers and FA firms are required to cap the variable income payable to representatives and supervisors in the first year and spread the remaining variable income payable over a prescribed period. AIA FA reportedly failed to review and assess the performance of its three managing directors (MDs) who were responsible for the supervision of conduct and performance in their respective agency groups, including sales and compliance standards. AIA FA also failed to assign BSC grades as well as determine and pay their remuneration in accordance with the BSC, and to cap and spread the MDs’ variable income in accordance with the SCC, MAS said. Meanwhile, Aviva was reprimanded for failing to put in place compliance arrangements to monitor Tan’s actions in Aviva FA. Aviva engaged Tan as a consultant from July 2016 to March 2020, to provide strategic advice on Aviva FA’s business. During this period, however, MAS said that Tan went beyond providing strategic advice and acted as a supervisor to Aviva FA’s representatives. Tan reportedly had frequent and direct interactions with Aviva FA’s representatives, including discussions on sales and compliance issues. By failing to put compliance arrangements, Aviva and Aviva FA contravened the Guidelines on Risk Management Practices–Internal Controls (RM Guidelines) and the Financial Advisers Regulations, respectively, according to MAS. “Mr. Tan had acted as a supervisor of Aviva FA by virtue of his roles and responsibilities in the firm, but Aviva FA failed to review and assess Mr. Tan’s performance, assign a BSC grade to him, and determine and pay his remuneration in accordance with the BSC. Aviva also failed to cap and spread his variable income in accordance with the SCC. In accepting such remuneration, Mr. Tan also breached the SCC,” MAS said in a press release. In relation to the above, MAS also reprimanded Aviva FA CEO and director Chee for his failure to ensure that Aviva FA put in place arrangements to monitor Tan’s activities. According to MAS, Chee did not properly address the issue of poor conduct of Aviva FA’s representatives, which included misrepresentations to customers regarding the nature and features of certain insurance products. This is despite MAS’ repeated supervisory engagements with Aviva FA between August 2017 and September 2018 over the sales conduct of its representatives; the regulator said that even after these engagements, the measures put in place by Aviva FA to address these issues remained inadequate. MAS said that it has since directed Aviva FA to appoint independent external persons to reportedly conduct a holistic review of the company’s internal control processes, and to perform call-backs to all customers before any sales are completed. These measures are still in place. Meanwhile, Prudential was reprimanded for failing to review and assess the performance of three individuals--which the firm referred to as Master Group Agency Manager (MGAM) Leaders and a consultant-- it had appointed as supervisors. Prudential also failed to assign BSC grades to these three individuals, as well as determine and pay their remuneration in accordance with the BSC requirements. Prudential also breached the RM Guidelines as it failed to put in place adequate risk mitigation procedures and compliance arrangements to monitor the MGAM Leaders’ and Consultant’s activities, MAS said.
Chua spent 18 years with UBS Wealth Management prior to his new role.
Private-sector economists polled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore expect higher growth, faster inflation in 2021. Economists and analysts from the private sector expect the Singapore economy to grow by 6.8% for the full year of 2021, according to the latest Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) survey of professional forecasters. The forecast for the June survey is higher than the 5.8% forecast from the March survey. The twenty-seven respondents expect manufacturing to grow by 8.3%, finance & insurance by 6.0%, construction by 19.3%, wholesale & retail trade by 4.4% and accommodation & food services by 6.5%. Private consumption is expected to grow by 5.2%, lower than the 7.9% forecast from the past survey. Non-oil domestic exports is expected to grow by 7.5% for the full year of 2021. CPI-all items inflation and MAS Core inflation are expected to come in at 1.4% and 0.8% respectively for the full year of 2021. For the second quarter, the economists expect CPI inflation to come in at 1.9% and core inflation to come in at 0.7%.  
The leading F&B establishment operator expands its retail line of condiments and flavourings.
This deepens SGX’s partnership with Nikkei Inc.
These three stocks saw significant growth in trading turnover year-to-date.
The project with a 280-bed capacity is expected to operate by 2022.
Singapore Airport Terminal Services saw the sharpest decline during Monday's trading, with a 1.21% drop.
And the G-7 states demand a probe on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately 35% of MSEs in the F&B and retail sectors saw their earnings drop by more than half during the Phase 2 Heightened Alert period, according to a DBS survey.
Enterprise Singapore extends the programme that supports food and beverage businesses in providing food delivery services.
The Baht 40b debentures were 1.52 times oversubscribed.
The fund was announced at the inaugural CapitaLand Sustainability X Challenge.
Mapletree Logistics Trust saw the sharpest decline during Friday's trading, with a 0.99% drop.
This may be one of the last times the troubled water treatment firm could meet with securities holders before shutting down.