THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) continues to put in significant resources to fight money laundering and terrorism financing.
Last year, it conducted 74 AML/CFT (Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism) inspections covering banks, insurance companies, money changers, remittance agents, capital-market intermediaries and licensed trust companies.
Singapore is committed to the global effort to combat transnational crime, said MAS in its annual report 2014/15 released on Tuesday.
MAS also engaged external auditors to inspect 297 capital-market intermediaries and plans to do likewise for money changers and remittance agents, which were identified as higher-risk sectors in the National Risk Assessment published in January 2014.
In 2014, MAS issued nine warnings and reprimands to financial institutions (FIs) for AML/CFT non-compliance.
MAS also imposed financial penalties ranging from S$1,000 to S$700,000 on six FIs, it said.
While AML/CFT controls were generally in place in FIs, MAS said it identified several areas where there was room for improvement.
It noted instances where FIs had updated their internal policies to address changes in regulation or risk environment, but these were not implemented in an adequate or timely manner by business units, particularly with regard to identifying customers presenting higher money laundering/terrorism financing risk.
Certain FIs did not periodically review the parameters and thresholds used to detect suspicious transactions, it said.