Singapores regulatory authorities are working on norms that would bring financial holding companies under its ambit as it seeks to enhance the regulatory framework for combating money laundering and terrorism financing.
In a consultation paper, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it also seeks to improve the country’s supervisory cooperation regime with other countries to combat and deter such crime.
The regulator today also said it is currently developing subsidiary legislation to bring The Financial Holding Companies Act enacted in April 2013 into operation.
This new act will extend MAS powers to strengthen oversight of these financial holding companies which are non-operating holding companies incorporated in Singapore and operating as a Singapore bank or insurance subsidiary, or both.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, SUPERVISION
While MAS said it already has powers to obtain and exchange supervisory information with foreign supervisors for regulated financial institutions, it now feels these powers need to be broadened so that it can share even protected information with foreign counterpart authorities as well as Singapore authorities.
The MAS said this would also align the country’s regime with the revised Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations and other international standards.
FATF requires financial supervisors to be able to exchange protected information, such as information obtained from the performance of customer due diligence measures, with their foreign counterparts for AML/CFT supervisory purposes.
In line with practices in countries like the United States, Australia and New Zealand, MAS has also proposed performing detailed customer due diligence and maintenance of proper records.
The paper also said financial institutions regulated under the Trust Companies Act to be subjected to consolidated supervision by their foreign parent supervisory authorities, in line with the entities regulated under the Banking Act, Insurance Act and Securities and Futures Act. In this regard, MAS has proposed to facilitate the inspection of Singapore-incorporated licensed trust companies that are subsidiaries of foreign financial groups by their foreign parent supervisory authorities.
Meanwhile, MAS also said it will review other legislation that it administers including financial advisers, money-changing and remittance businesses laws, to consider if similar powers to authorise on-site examinations by home supervisory authorities would be relevant.
The consultation paper that proposes changes to the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act and the Trust Companies Act is open for public comments until 7 July.