Singapore banks turn to data analytics to combat money laundering and financial crimes

Banks of Singapore may soon be sharing a standard format of data submission and risk analytics with regulators and law enforcement agencies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing schemes.

This is one of the recommendations given by Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Industry Partnership (ACIP), a pact formed in April 2017 between the government and private companies in the financial industry as well as the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS).

ACIP has recommended a set of best practices for financial institutions to guard against trade-based money laundering and the misuse of company structures for illicit purposes. 

It has also recommended that agencies such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) collaborate with financial institutions on data analytics.

ACIP has recommended a set of best practices for financial institutions to guard against trade-based money laundering and the misuse of company structures for illicit purposes.
ACIP has recommended a set of best practices for financial institutions to guard against trade-based money laundering and the misuse of company structures for illicit purposes. Photo courtesy: gov.sg

In addition to this, it also recommended that a central register of owners of legal entities incorporated in Singapore be set up, so that banks will find it easier to identify owners who may not be directly connected to these legal entities.

ACIP has laid a roadmap for controlling money laundering and keeping a vigil on suspicious client profiles or transaction patterns. It has set up a data analytics working group to leverage the collective experience of its members in using AML/CFT data analytics to better detect suspicious client profiles, activities or transaction patterns.

The working group will also identify areas where closer collaboration between industry and government can enhance enforcement efforts against criminals who abuse Singapore’s financial system.

David Chew, Director of CAD, said, “ACIP’s first year has been a fruitful one. We have had open discussions about emerging financial crime typologies and enriched our collective understanding of the threats facing Singapore. I hope ACIP continues to build on this foundation of trust, as we move towards closer cooperation.”

Chua Kim Leng, Special Advisor of MAS’ Financial Supervision Group, said, “We are heartened by the industry’s commitment in tackling money laundering, terrorism financing and other illicit activities. As criminals employ increasingly sophisticated means to launder money, financial institutions, intermediaries and gatekeepers must remain vigilant and take preemptive measures to combat such risks.”

Author
CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

Comments