Singapore sets up anti-money laundering watchdog

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Money Authority of SingaporeThe Money Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it will launch a special anti-money laundering department to prevent involvement of Singapore-based banks in major scandals such as the one revolving around 1Malaysia Development Berhad and the local subsidiary of Swiss bank BSI.

The new body, effective August 1, will be dedicated to combating money-laundering activities and be assisted by a new enforcement department, a unit which will be responsible for enforcement actions arising from regulatory breaches of the central bank’s banking, insurance and capital markets regulations.

“Like all major international financial and business centers, Singapore’s financial sector faces the risk of being used as a conduit for money laundering and terrorist financing activities,” the central bank said in a statement.

“While MAS has in place a robust regime to protect the integrity of Singapore’s financial system, the increasing complexities of transnational flows necessitates heightened supervisory focus on combating money laundering and other illicit financing activities,” it added.

However, while Singapore has quite clear regulations against financial misconduct, in its aim to cement its position as a low-tax financial hub and to attract the world’s wealthy – particularly as Europe and the U.S. are closing tax loopholes and tighten banking regulations –  it is also faced with illicit inflows of dubious money that ends up in offshore accounts and trusts – and in Singapore’s casinos.

Potential sources of black money for Singapore are manifold: With the re-routing of cash from Europe, particularly Switzerland, the city-state experienced an upswing in European customers. But there are also many wealthy Asians, namely from China, using Singapore as a cash storage. And, although MAS has always denied such accusations, Singapore is also said to be a money hub for Myanmar business tycoons and members of the country’s former junta who are alleged to hide their ill-gotten funds from jade smuggle and drug trafficking in the small nation.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Money Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it will launch a special anti-money laundering department to prevent involvement of Singapore-based banks in major scandals such as the one revolving around 1Malaysia Development Berhad and the local subsidiary of Swiss bank BSI.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Money Authority of SingaporeThe Money Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it will launch a special anti-money laundering department to prevent involvement of Singapore-based banks in major scandals such as the one revolving around 1Malaysia Development Berhad and the local subsidiary of Swiss bank BSI.

The new body, effective August 1, will be dedicated to combating money-laundering activities and be assisted by a new enforcement department, a unit which will be responsible for enforcement actions arising from regulatory breaches of the central bank’s banking, insurance and capital markets regulations.

“Like all major international financial and business centers, Singapore’s financial sector faces the risk of being used as a conduit for money laundering and terrorist financing activities,” the central bank said in a statement.

“While MAS has in place a robust regime to protect the integrity of Singapore’s financial system, the increasing complexities of transnational flows necessitates heightened supervisory focus on combating money laundering and other illicit financing activities,” it added.

However, while Singapore has quite clear regulations against financial misconduct, in its aim to cement its position as a low-tax financial hub and to attract the world’s wealthy – particularly as Europe and the U.S. are closing tax loopholes and tighten banking regulations –  it is also faced with illicit inflows of dubious money that ends up in offshore accounts and trusts – and in Singapore’s casinos.

Potential sources of black money for Singapore are manifold: With the re-routing of cash from Europe, particularly Switzerland, the city-state experienced an upswing in European customers. But there are also many wealthy Asians, namely from China, using Singapore as a cash storage. And, although MAS has always denied such accusations, Singapore is also said to be a money hub for Myanmar business tycoons and members of the country’s former junta who are alleged to hide their ill-gotten funds from jade smuggle and drug trafficking in the small nation.

 

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