Singapore’s financial regulator MAS has announced a partnership with the private sector to strengthen the city-state’s value proposition as a leading asset management and fund domiciliation hub; MAS is also focusing on the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.
MAS to partner with the private sector for asset management
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced a partnership with the private sector to strengthen Singapore’s value proposition as a leading, full-service asset management and fund domiciliation hub.
The Singapore Funds Industry Group (SFIG) will bring together all the key players across the entire asset management value chain, including fund managers, service providers, lawyers, tax advisors, fund administrators, and directors.
The SFIG will identify emerging industry trends and formulate strategies to develop the asset management ecosystem. The SFIG will comprise four working groups: The Infrastructure and Innovation WG; The Policy WG; The Capabilities and Training WG; and The Promotion and Advocacy WG.
The Infrastructure and Innovation WG will monitor market developments and spur innovation to transform the funds servicing value chain. The Policy WG will provide advice and recommend improvements to regulatory, legal and tax frameworks, to better serve the needs of fund managers and investors.
Meanwhile, the Capabilities and Training WG will focus on building a deep pool of fund specialists and directors in areas such as product development, administration, distribution and fund oversight and governance.
The Promotion and Advocacy WG will raise the global profile of Singapore as leading asset management and fund domiciliation hub, through outreach and engagements with Singapore-based and global asset managers, asset owners and service providers.
MAS focuses on anti-money laundering
MAS is focusing on how financial institutions can work together in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF).
Speaking at the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists’ annual conference on financial crime, MAS assistant managing director for policy, payments, and financial crime Loo Siew Yee pointed out that the number of Variable Capital Companies (VCCs) has grown significantly since the framework was introduced in January 2020.
As fund vehicles with a separate legal personality, they can potentially be misused as a conduit for illicit purposes, and MAS is assessing the higher risk segments in this space.
“We plan to conduct thematic inspections of financial institutions that perform AML/CFT [anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism] checks for VCCs to assess the robustness of their AML/CFT controls,” she said.
MAS continues to encourage and expect financial institutions to effectively leverage data analytics in their AML/CFT frameworks. For financial institutions that have already integrated data analytics tools into their AML/CFT processes, MAS encourages them to develop strong governance processes, to ensure that these tools remain relevant and effective.
MAS is also working closely with a number of banks to explore how they can share key risk information with each other in a timely and secure manner.