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Singapore Working To Keep Trusted Financial Hub Status

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Singapore Working To Keep Trusted Financial Hub Status

After a turbulent 2016 which saw two international private banks shut down by the local regulator for their involvement with the Malaysian wealth fund 1MDB, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) has submitted the Trustees (Amendment) Bill 2017 for First Reading in Parliament. 

The proposed amendments underline Singapore’s commitment  to international standards and global efforts in countering money laundering, terrorism financing and tax evasion, MinLaw said in a press release.

Clean and Trusted Financial Centre

Over the years, Singapore has invested substantial efforts to enhance its anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing regime to uphold its reputation as a clean and trusted international financial centre.

The Trustees (Amendment) Bill is part of Singapore’s whole-of-government ongoing review to ensure that corporate vehicles and trusts are not misused for improper purposes.

Key Features 

The proposed amendments to the Trustees Act seek to require trustees to maintain beneficial ownership information and proper accounting records of express trusts.

This will enhance the transparency of ownership and control structures of express trusts, and prescribe minimum standards for financial record keeping by trustees.

The amendments include provisions to empower the Minister to make rules to:

  • Prescribe duties on trustees to obtain and maintain financial records, as well as information on the parties relevant to and dealing with the trust;
  • Prescribe the specific groups of trusts which are exempted from the proposed amendments;
  • Designate any breach of such rules as an offence; and
  • Impose a penalty of a fine not exceeding $1,000 for any breaches of the obligations.

Background

A public consultation on the proposed amendments was conducted by MinLaw from 12 January 2017 to 31 January 2017. Respondents expressed support for Singapore’s efforts to enhance her regime to tackle money laundering and terrorism financing.

Source: Finews

By Pathay Singh on 03/02/17