FATF asks Singapore to step up efforts in fight against money laundering and terrorist financing

The FATF and Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) conducted an assessment of Singapore’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system, based on the 2012 FATF Recommendations, and using the 2013 Methodology. The assessment is a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of Singapore’s AML/CFT system and its level of compliance with the FATF Recommendations.

Singapore has a strong legal and institutional framework to fight money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF). Singapore’s AML/CFT coordination is highly sophisticated and inclusive of all relevant competent authorities. Authorities have a reasonable understanding of their ML/TF risks, and are taking steps to mitigate them. The report however notes that the level of understanding of the ML/TF risks varies among financial institutions and DNFBPs, with the latter generally demonstrating a less mature understanding of ML/TF risks. Singapore is also encouraged to conduct comprehensive ML/TF risk assessments for all types of legal persons (private companies, public companies, foreign companies, etc.) and legal arrangements.

The report recognises that authorities are able to successfully investigate and prosecute domestic ML and TF cases, and encourages Singapore to further strengthen its investigative and prosecutorial actions on foreign predicate ML cases, in line with the country’s geographical location and its status as a global financial centre. The report also notes that Singapore should strengthen its criminal justice measures against TF in line with its risks and should continue to emphasise the pursuit of confiscation of proceeds of crime as a separate strategic goal.

Despite relatively strong AML/CFT supervision of most FIs, the report recommends that authorities continue their efforts to ensure the effective supervision across all categories of FIs and especially DNFPBs. The requirements for customer due-diligence, record-keeping and PEP clients are well understood by FIs. Singapore is also working to increase the level of implementation of the AML/CFT measures recently introduced for most types of DNFPBs.

This report was adopted by the FATF at its Plenary meeting in June 2016. The FATF statement and related information can be found here.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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