16 July 2013
In his keynote address at the ABS Financial Crime Seminar 2013, Assistant Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Mr Lee Boon Ngiap stressed the need to safeguard the integrity of Singapore’s Financial Centre. The nation is fully committed to working with the international community to curb money laundering activities and tax-related crimes.
Effective 1 July 2013, tax crimes are designated money laundering predicate offences. Financial institutions must therefore conduct rigorous customer due diligence, monitor and report suspicious transactions to guard against the laundering of proceeds from tax crimes. Meanwhile, Singapore has an exchange of information (EOI) regime that is consistent with international standards. It has also started making legislative amendments to extend the international EOI Standard to all its existing tax treaty partners. Additionally, the nation is a signatory to the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which further expands its network of EOI partners.
While policymakers have pro-actively set up a robust legal and regulatory framework, the financial services industry, too, has done its part. The Private Banking Industry Group developed a set of guidelines to protect private banks from being used as a platform to conceal proceeds from serious tax crimes. It is hoped that these initiatives, in tandem with effective supervision by the Central Bank, will uphold the integrity of Singapore’s Financial Centre.
Source: Monetary Authority of Singapore