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MAS strengthens regulations against money laundering, terrorism financing

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued on Friday revised Notices to financial institutions on anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT).

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued on Friday revised Notices to financial institutions on anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT).

Key changes to the AML/CFT Notices include:

a) requiring more comprehensive enterprise-wide ML/TF risk assessment to complement risk assessment of individual customers;

b) elaborating on the requisite steps to identify and verify beneficial ownership of companies, LLPs and trusts;

c) introducing a new category of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). The central bank said PEP refers to a person entrusted with prominent public functions. The new category of PEP introduced is the "internationalorganization PEP", which refers to a person who is or has been entrusted with prominent public function in an international organization.

d) additional requirements for cross-border wire transfers exceeding S$1,500.

The revisions are benchmarked against international best practices and the latest recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global standard-setter for AML/CFT measures, of which Singapore is a member since 1992.

Ong Chong Tee, Deputy Managing Director, MAS, said Singapore is committed to the global effort to combat transnational crime.

"The financial sector is an important stakeholder. MAS requires financial institutions to implement rigorous anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) measures to detect and deter illicit funds. This latest round of revisions to the AML/CFT Notices and Guidelines is an affirmation of our continued vigilance to stem such risks," he said.

Industry feedback was sought and incorporated into the revised AML/CFT Notices.