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“The need for new guidelines to combat money laundering and terrorism financing was laid out in stark terms” on Monday, May 14th, reports the Straits Time.

“The authorities cited a South Asian conglomerate that laundered huge amounts of cash by using 10 subsidiaries to swiftly shift funds of no more than US$20 million (S$26.7 million) each time between the units.

The subsidiaries – in South-east Asia, South Asia and the Middle East – used at least one Singapore bank account to channel the funds in 2016 through the complex web of inter-company transfers”.

There are many tricks like this, used to disguise money laundering activities in the region, which Singapore regulators have been asking the banking industry to review and control.

“This review process began in April last year when the AML/CFT Industry Partnership (ACIP) was set up. AML/CFT refers to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. It is chaired by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and involves input from the three Singapore banks, Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, UBS and BNP Paribas”.

Recommendations stemming from the first year of talks were tabled on May 14th.

At Know Your Customer, we look with extreme interest at this latest development in the anti money laundering fight in Singapore. Our CEO Claus Christensen commented:

The fact that new AML rules are coming to Singapore is very timely. RegTech solutions like our Virtual Compliance Desk platform can immediately increase transparency for complex corporate structures with automation and machine learning replacing manual compliance work.