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Singapore Consults On FATF Regulatory Changes

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

13 November 2013

Singapore's Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) are inviting public feedback on enhancements to the country's regulatory framework against money laundering and terrorist financing within its commitment to the revised international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations.

They have begun a public consultation exercise, which will run from November 7 to December 6, 2013, on the draft ACRA (Amendment) Bill and key policies in the new Regulations, which will enhance the regulatory framework for corporate service providers (CSPs), and provide a transition framework to ease the transition of existing CSPs to the enhanced regulatory regime.

CSPs are defined as individuals or businesses that act for third parties as formation agent or legal person; act as a director or secretary of a company, a partner of a partnership, or a similar position in relation to other legal persons; provide a registered office, business address or accommodation, correspondence or administrative address for a company, a partnership or any other legal person or arrangement; or act as a nominee shareholder for another person.

Individual CSPs would include advocates and solicitors; members of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, the Association of International Accountants (Singapore Branch) and the Institute of Company Accountants, Singapore; and members of the Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators; and corporate secretarial agents.

Within, the MOF stated, Singapore's "reputation as a trusted international financial and business center with robust regulatory frameworks against money laundering and terrorist financing, (and) as a member of the FATF," the Bill's draft provisions require CSPs to register or renew their registration with ACRA; and empower the Minister of Finance to make regulations, including the terms and conditions (in line with the revised FATF recommendations) that registered CSPs have to comply with.

New Regulations will be drafted to set out details of the CSP-related provisions that are in the ACRA Act. These Regulations will elaborate on the obligations that CSPs have to comply with in order to meet the revised FATF Recommendations, particularly the customer due diligence measures that need to apply when a business relationship is being established, as well as other regulatory requirements

The MOF and ACRA will publish a summary of the comments received during the consultation period, together with their responses, by early 2014.

TAGS: individuals | money-laundering | compliance | Finance | tax | business | tax compliance | law | Singapore | ministry of finance | professionals | legislation | regulation | legislation amendments | Financial Action Task Force (FATF) | Regulations

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