Skip to content

Singapore plans central data platform to fight money laundering – Reuters

The logo of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is pictured at its building in Singapore in this February 21, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo
SINGAPORE, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Singapore's central bank said on Friday it would create a digital platform enabling banks to share information on customers and transactions, part of efforts to prevent money laundering and financing of criminal activity.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement that it plans to launch the platform in the first half of 2023 and make it available to the city-state's six biggest commercial banks in the initial phase.
Financial and trade hubs like Singapore are particularly vulnerable to money laundering due to large cross-border flows.
"The information-sharing framework is designed to target serious criminal behaviours and allow financial institutions to more quickly detect the bad actors to purge and deter them," Loo Siew Yee, MAS's assistant managing director for policy payments and financial crime, said in a statement.
Described by the MAS as the first centralised platform of its kind, the initiative was the result of cooperation between the MAS and DBS (DBSM.SI), OCBC (OCBC.SI), United Overseas Bank (UOBH.SI), Standard Chartered Bank (STAN.L), Citibank (C.N) and HSBC (HSBA.L).
The MAS said a common challenge faced by financial institutions was not being able to warn each other about unusual activity in customers' accounts.
In 2015, Singapore discovered that funds linked to the scandal-ridden Malaysian state fund 1MDB were laundered through its banking system. The MAS shut down the local units of two Swiss private banks in 2016, froze millions of dollars in bank accounts, charged private bankers and imposed fines on banks.
"Bad actors in financial crimes typically use bank accounts from different banks over a period of time to hide and spend the illicit funds," said Loretta Yuen, head of group legal and regulatory compliance at OCBC Bank.
"By sharing data and information of suspicious accounts at the first instance on a common platform, it will send red flags quickly across the network to stop other banks from being used for financial crimes," she said.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
The advent of digital currencies in emerging markets could spark "cryptoization" of local economies, potentially undermining exchange and capital controls and upsetting financial stability, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday.
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets – delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *