The MAS (Amendment) Act has come into force on 26 June 2015, implementing provisions discussed in our previous update.

The key aspects of the new provisions are as follows:

Anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) Requirements

Requirements to conduct customer due diligence and maintain records on transactions and information have been expressly set out in the MAS Act. Detailed requirements with respect to the conduct of due diligence and maintenance of records will continue to be set out in the AML/CFT Notices issued by the MAS.

Powers to conduct and enable AML/CFT inspections

The MAS is now empowered to inspect, and appoint any person to inspect, financial institutions to determine compliance with directions issued and regulations made in respect of Singapore’s international obligations (for example, Financial Action Task Force requirements) and prevention of AML/CFT.

The MAS is also empowered to enable a public authority of a foreign country which is responsible for the supervision of foreign financial institutions in that country (AML/CFT authority) to conduct an inspection in Singapore of a financial institution over which the AML/CFT authority exercises consolidated supervision authority. These powers are subject to various requirements and restrictions, including written approval of the MAS and the AML/CFT authority giving a written undertaking to the MAS to comply with conditions the MAS may impose.

Enhancements to MAS supervisory cooperation regime

Various provisions allow the MAS to provide assistance to AML/CFT authorities of foreign countries to enable the AML/CFT authorities to carry out supervision or take supervisory action. The MAS may also provide assistance to domestic authorities. Such provision of assistance is subject to various requirements and restrictions, including the information requested for being proportionate and of sufficient importance to the supervisory action.