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Parliamentary Replies

Progress of Inter-Ministerial Committee Reviewing Singapore's Anti-Money Laundering Framework

02 Jul 2024
Parliamentary Question by Mr Liang Eng Hwa:

To ask the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) whether an update can be provided on the progress of the Inter-Ministerial Committee reviewing Singapore’s anti-money laundering framework; (b) what are the Committee’s key area of focus; and (c) whether there have been consultations with relevant stakeholders and the industry. 

Parliamentary Question by Dr Tan Wu Meng:

To ask the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) whether the Inter-Ministerial Committee formed to review Singapore’s anti-money laundering framework can provide an update on its work; (b) whether the Committee is of the view that there are gaps in the system and will recommend tightening regulations, enforcement and deterrence to prevent exploitation by criminals especially in money laundering operations where sums involved may exceed $1 billion; and (c) what are the Committee’s recommendations to ensure that Singapore maintains its position as a financial centre of repute. 


Parliamentary Reply by Second Minister for Finance, Ms Indranee Rajah:

The Government is committed to upholding Singapore’s status as an open and trusted financial hub. A strong financial sector needs to be bult on a clean, robust and credible system. We adopt a zero-tolerance stance towards money laundering and will decisively act against any persons involved. 

The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) was set up in end-2023 to review our anti-money laundering regime (AML) by drawing learnings from the billion-dollar money laundering case. This inter-agency review focuses on four areas: (a) what more can be done to prevent corporate structures from being abused by money launderers, (b) how financial institutions can enhance their controls and collaborate more effectively to guard against and flag suspicious transactions, (c) how other gatekeepers in the ecosystem, such as real estate agents, lawyers, precious stones and metals dealers, and corporate service providers can better guard against money laundering risks, and (d) how we can strengthen our monitoring and sense-making capabilities to better detect suspicious activities.

The IMC’s work builds on existing efforts, including agencies’ regular reviews, to ensure that our AML regime continues to be effective even as criminals find new ways to circumvent our controls and safeguards.

As tackling money laundering risks is a whole-of-society effort, the IMC has also been engaging a range of industry stakeholders, such as financial institutions, real estate agents, and corporate service providers, to understand the challenges they face and how we can better support them to reinforce their controls against money laundering. 

The IMC will share its full findings and recommendations in the fourth quarter of this year. In the meantime, agencies have already been working on and putting in place regulatory and legislative changes that are in alignment with the IMC’s forthcoming recommendations. For example, the Corporate Service Providers (CSP) Bill, which will be introduced for Second Reading at this parliamentary session, will increase penalties for breaches by CSP and introduce requirements for nominee directors to be fit and proper. These proposals were in development prior to the case, and were refined to benefit from the insights gleaned from IMC discussions.