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Legislative changes to enhance Singapore as trusted international financial centre
SINGAPORE'S Ministry of Law (MinLaw) submitted the Trustees (Amendment) Bill 2017 for First Reading in Parliament on Tuesday which affirms its commitment to international standards and global efforts in countering money laundering, terrorism financing and tax evasion.
The Trustees (Amendment) Bill is part of Singapore's whole-of-government ongoing review to ensure that corporate vehicles and trusts are not misused for improper purposes, said the ministry in a statement.
Some key features of the proposed amendments seek to require trustees to maintain beneficial ownership information and proper accounting records of express trusts in order to enhance transparency of ownership and control structures of express trusts, and prescribe minimum standards for financial record keeping by trustees.
The amendments also include provisions to empower the law minister to make rules to prescribe duties on trustees to obtain and maintain financial records, as well as information on the parties relevant to and dealing with the trust, to prescribe specific groups of trusts that are exempted from the proposed amendments, designate any breach of such rules as an offence and impose a penalty of not more than S$1,000 fine for breaches of the obligations.
MinLaw had consulted the public for their views on the proposed amendments earlier this year, between Jan 12 and Jan 31.