The Fight Against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Is Ramping Up
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) says regulators in Singapore are looking to increase the measures in place currently targeted at fighting financial crime. With a stronger collaboration between the industry and government, along with the stronger use of technology, MAS plans to make this the two focus areas for the year ahead.
Balance Between Addressing Money Laundering
Assistant Managing Director of MAS’ Banking and Insurance Group, Ho Hern Shin, states that it is important that there is a balance between addressing money laundering and the fight against financing terrorism risks. Ho went on to add that financial inclusion of those who have trouble accessing banking services should be improved upon too.
Ms Ho went on to add that it is not the intention of MAS to burden banks with disproportionate monitoring of these banks accounts in the measures taken to build a society which was more inclusive and had greater financial participation. Ms Ho further went on to state that MAS would like to work with banks to co-create solutions while at the same time ensuring that there are adequate safeguards to mitigate the risks of misuse of these bank accounts.
Ms Ho stated that MAS was already applying data analytics tools to approximately 25,000 suspicious transaction reports which are filed each year by financial institutions in the Republic. MAS will glean better machine readability of the data collected from these reports when a revised form and reporting platform is introduced in August.
Technology is capable of significantly augmenting our ability to identify higher risk areas, according to Ms Ho. She also states that MAS has already begun investing a great deal of effort into tapping into this technology. According to Ms Ho, one of its recommendations is “promising”.
April 2017 saw the launch of a private-public partnership on money laundering and terrorism financing, and Ms Ho claims that while these measures have been “helpful”, there is still room for improvement. Ms Ho stated that MAS is actively considering how it can improve upon the information sharing process with financial institutions for this very purpose.