MAS’ AML/CFT Inspections Put Wealth Management Firms on Noticeby Fintech News Singapore August 17, 2023
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been conducting inspections of financial institutions (FIs) active in the wealth management space to ensure that they have robust controls in place to detect and deal with money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
This follows the recent arrest of 10 individuals for suspected involvement in offences including forgery and/or money laundering. The arrests were made possible with the assistance of MAS, which had worked closely with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) to facilitate the development of the case.
MAS said that it takes this case seriously and will take firm action against FIs which are found to have breached its stringent requirements on anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
The inspections of wealth management FIs are part of MAS’ ongoing efforts to strengthen Singapore’s AML/CFT regime. The inspections focus on FIs’ risk assessment, customer due diligence (CDD) procedures, and transaction monitoring systems.
MAS said that it will continue to work closely with FIs to guard against the abuse of Singapore’s financial system for illicit activities.
In addition to the inspections, MAS has also issued a number of guidelines and circulars to FIs on AML/CFT matters. These guidelines and circulars provide FIs with clear guidance on their AML/CFT obligations.
Ho Hern Shin, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision), MAS said,
“This case has highlighted that vigilance and prompt filing of STRs (suspicious transaction reports) by our FIs have helped law enforcement authorities to identify those suspected of carrying out illicit activities.
But it has also highlighted that as a global financial hub, Singapore remains vulnerable to transnational ML/TF risks and that MAS and FIs need to continue to work together to strengthen our defences against these risks.”