MAS to clamp down on money laundering, terrorism financing

MAS to clamp down on money laundering, terrorism financing | Insurance Business

MAS to clamp down on money laundering, terrorism financing

Singapore’s financial regulators are looking to strengthen measures against financial crimes through data analytics and improved information sharing with financial institutions.

Assistant managing director of the banking and insurance group at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ho Hern Shin, said that harnessing technology and improving collaboration between the government and financial institutions are a top priority at the central bank, reported the Business Times.

Ho, who spoke at a seminar organised by the Association of Banks in Singapore, stressed that it is important to address money laundering and terrorism financing, as well as improving inclusion for population segments that are having difficulty accessing financial services, such as ex-convicts.

“In building a more inclusive society with greater financial participation, it is not our intention to burden banks with disproportionate monitoring of bank accounts,” she said.

According to Ho, MAS is applying data analytics to over 25,000 suspicious transaction reports lodged yearly by various financial institutions. It will launch a revised form and reporting platform in August, which will hopefully improve the quality of the data.

“Technology, and in particular data analytics, can significantly augment our ability to identify higher risk areas, and both the industry and MAS have begun to invest great efforts to tap into it,” she said, adding that an industry working group on data analytics applications is set to release a report soon.

One of the report’s recommendations is harnessing coding and analytics talent into applications to combat financial crime.

In April 2017, a private-public partnership was launched, seeking to counter money laundering and terrorism financing, but Ho said that, while helpful, the initiative could be improved in several ways, such as “sharing of more detailed context so as to enable (financial institutions) to mount more targeted checks.”


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