Singapore MAS and 6 Banks to Share Clients Information in 2023 to Tackle Money Laundering & Terrorism Financing
8th October 2021 | Hong Kong
Singapore Central Bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced the launch of a digital platform and regulatory framework for financial institutions to cross-share relevant information on customers and transactions to prevent money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing in early 2023. The new platform COSMIC (Collaborative Sharing of ML/TF Information & Cases) co-created by MAS and 6 banks (DBS, OCBC, UOB, SCB, Citibank, HSBC), will enable financial institutions to securely share information on customers or transactions, where they cross material risk thresholds, helping to identify and disrupt illicit networks.
“ Singapore MAS and 6 Banks to Share Clients Information in 2023 to Tackle Money Laundering & Terrorism Financing “
Proliferation financing refers to the raising, moving or making available of financing, funds, assets or other economic resources to individuals or entities to support the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including the proliferation of their means of delivery or related materials.
COSMIC – Collaborative Sharing of ML/TF Information & Cases)
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plans to launch the COSMIC platform in the first half of 2023. COSMIC will initially focus on 3 key financial crime risks in commercial banking, namely, abuse of shell companies, misuse of trade finance for illicit purposes, and proliferation financing. The 6 banks involved in COSMIC’s development, which are leading players in commercial banking, will participate and be permitted to share information in COSMIC during this initial phase. MAS plans to progressively extend COSMIC’s coverage to more financial institution and focus areas and make some aspects of sharing mandatory.
A common challenge that financial institutions in most jurisdictions face is that they are unable to warn one another about unusual activity in customers’ accounts. This gap is frequently exploited by financial criminals to make illicit transactions through a web of entities with accounts in different financial institutions, such that each financial institution on its own does not have sufficient information to detect these transactions in a timely manner.
MAS seeks feedback on the proposed legislative framework for COSMIC, as well as the platform’s features. MAS invites interested parties to submit their comments on the proposals and legislative amendments, outlined in the consultation paper at the link here by 1 November 2021.
Loo Siew Yee, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments & Financial Crime):
“COSMIC will significantly enhance our financial institutions’ ability to detect and curb suspicious activity, while minimising the impact on legitimate actors.
The information sharing framework is designed to target serious criminal behaviours and allow FIs to more quickly detect the bad actors to purge and deter them. It will strengthen Singapore’s position as a trusted financial centre and place to do business, where FIs can better serve the vast majority of legitimate customers.”
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