Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Deputy Chairman of the MAS Board Lawrence Wong
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Singapore MAS Chairman Lawrence Wong on Anti-Money Laundering Measures Causing Delay in Bank Account Opening for Companies: Due Diligence Process Should Not Result in Delays if Banks Receive Sufficient Information to Properly Understand Applicant & Assess Risks

9th November 2023 | Hong Kong

Singapore central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Lawrence Wong (Chairman, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance) reply on if anti-money laundering measures will cause delay in bank account opening for companiesDue diligence process should not result in delays if banks receive sufficient information to properly understand applicant & assess risks.  Singapore MAS Chairman Lawrence Wong: “To mitigate the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing, MAS requires banks to conduct customer due diligence before an account can be opened. This includes understanding the purpose of the account and ascertaining the ultimate beneficial owners of companies … … Banks have established customer engagement processes to obtain the information needed for account opening. Businesses applying for bank accounts can help in this process by providing sufficient information and timely clarifications to questions posed by banks. The due diligence process should not result in undue delays if banks receive sufficient information to properly understand the applicant and assess the risks posed.”  More info below:

“ Due Diligence Process Should Not Result in Delays if Banks Receive Sufficient Information to Properly Understand Applicant & Assess Risks “

 



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Singapore MAS Chairman Lawrence Wong on Anti-Money Laundering Measures Causing Delay in Bank Account Opening for Companies

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Deputy Chairman of the MAS Board Lawrence Wong

Date: For Parliament Sitting on 7 November 2023

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Lim Biow Chuan, MP, Mountbatten SMC

Question:

To ask the Prime Minister whether the current anti-money laundering measures in Singapore will result in a delay in the opening of bank accounts for companies; and (b) if so, how will such delays affect Singapore’s reputation as having an efficient business environment.

Answer by Mr Lawrence Wong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, and Chairman of MAS:

1. Singapore’s reputation as a trusted financial centre is what makes us an attractive place for investments and business. Therefore, our goal to provide a conducive and competitive environment for legitimate businesses must be matched with an equal resolve to prevent bad actors from abusing our system and tarnishing our reputation.

2. To mitigate the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing, MAS requires banks to conduct customer due diligence before an account can be opened. This includes understanding the purpose of the account and ascertaining the ultimate beneficial owners of companies. These requirements are not new and are aligned with practices in other reputable jurisdictions, as well as standards set by the Financial Action Task Force. They help banks gain a better understanding of the risk profile and needs of their customers, thereby enabling them to not just manage the business relationship in a risk-appropriate manner but also serve their customers better.

3. Banks have established customer engagement processes to obtain the information needed for account opening. Businesses applying for bank accounts can help in this process by providing sufficient information and timely clarifications to questions posed by banks. The due diligence process should not result in undue delays if banks receive sufficient information to properly understand the applicant and assess the risks posed.




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