Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Speeding up its Fight Against Money Laundering and Terrorism
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) says regulators in Singapore are looking to increase the measures in place currently targeted at fighting financial crime. Money Laundering and terrorism financing have been a huge concern these days. MAS plans to make these two focus areas for the year ahead. The authority has aimed for a stronger collaboration between the industry and government. Besides that, MAS has aimed for better use of technology,
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. She went on to add that financial inclusion of those who have trouble accessing banking services should be improved upon too.
Ms. Ho also said 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. MAS would like to work with banks to co-create solutions. According to her, there are adequate safeguards to mitigate the risks of misuse of these bank accounts.
She also revealed that MAS was already applying data analytics tools to suspicious transaction reports. Financial institutes file approximately 25,000 of those each year in the Republic. We can expect MAS to glean better machine readability of the data in August. This is because a revised form and reporting platform will be introduced in that month.
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. Besides that, she says one of its recommendations is “promising”.
April 2017 saw the launch of a private-public partnership on money laundering and terrorism financing. Ms. Ho claims that while these measures have been “helpful”, there is still room for improvement. Additionally, she stated that MAS is actively considering how it can improve upon the information sharing process with financial institutions for this very purpose.