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Singapore to enhance transparency of firms' beneficial ownership information

Friday, September 30, 2016 - 20:21

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SINGAPORE plans to introduce an obligation for companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) to obtain and maintain information on beneficial ownership in its fight against dirty money.

SINGAPORE plans to introduce an obligation for companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) to obtain and maintain information on beneficial ownership in its fight against dirty money.

Companies and LLPs will also be obligated to make the information available to law enforcement authorities upon request, said Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah.

"Some companies, such as those whose shareholders are also the beneficial owners, would already meet such a requirement as they are already maintaining information on these shareholders and beneficial owners," she said in her opening address at the Securities Investors Association of Singapore's (SIAS) Investors' Choice Awards presentation ceremony on Friday.

She said this move is aimed at facilitating greater corporate transparency and follows a mutual evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

In a report released this week, FATF - an inter-governmental body that looks at countering illicit fund flows and terrorism financing - had recommended that Singapore improve the transparency in the beneficial ownership of legal persons. Singapore is a member of FATF.

Based on FATF's evaluation, Ms Indranee said the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) are working on the proposed "obligation" which will require amendments to the Companies Act and the Limited Liability Partnerships Act.

"These include the steps that companies and limited liability partnerships should take in identifying the beneficial owners and the types of information that should be maintained," she added.

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