Singapore, 16 February 2012... Singapore is fully committed to implementing the new Recommendations for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of proliferation as announced by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) today. Singapore agencies have been actively involved in the FATF review process in developing these Recommendations.
2 The latest FATF Recommendations will enhance the arsenal of safeguards that countries can deploy to counter the evolving threats posed by money laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of proliferation. The key updates to the Recommendations are:
- A risk-based approach to allow countries greater flexibility in developing more targeted and focused measures to mitigate jurisdiction-specific risks.
- Additional measures to enhance transparency of ownership of legal persons and arrangements.
- Enhanced scope for international cooperation.
- Greater clarity on the roles and functions of law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units.
- Identification and mitigation of evolving threats such as the financing of proliferation, corruption and politically exposed persons, and tax crimes.
3 As an international financial centre, Singapore is highly vigilant against illicit funds that could threaten its integrity. Singapore's regime seeks to deter and prevent criminal abuse, and it is our policy to actively cooperate with foreign jurisdictions to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
4 Several of the latest Recommendations have already been implemented in Singapore. These include applying a risk based approach, enhanced measures for politically exposed persons to deter and detect corruption proceeds, and measures to fight the financing of proliferation. In October 2011, Singapore announced its intention to criminalise the laundering of proceeds from serious tax offences. We will review our international cooperation channels and other pertinent aspects of our regime to ensure compliance with the new FATF Recommendations.
5 The business and professional sectors, including the financial sector, are key partners in combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of proliferation. Their views and feedback are important to effectively implement these regime enhancements. We will conduct industry consultations and work in partnership with the private sector to strengthen the overall resilience of our system against threats from cross-border crimes.
(for combating money laundering and terrorist financing)
Note to editor on FATF and the FATF Recommendations
The FATF is the global standard-setter for measures to combat money-laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of proliferation. It is an intergovernmental body comprising 36 members, with the participation of over 180 countries through a global network of FATF-style regional bodies.
The FATF Recommendations are the international standards obligating all countries to have effective systems for preventing and addressing money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of proliferation. The Recommendations set out the measures that countries should have in place within their criminal justice and regulatory systems; the preventive measures to be taken by financial institutions and other businesses and professions; measures to ensure transparency on the ownership of legal persons and arrangements; the establishment of competent authorities with appropriate functions, and powers and mechanism for cooperation; and arrangements to cooperate with other countries.
Countries are assessed on their compliance with the Recommendations through a Mutual Evaluation process. The previous Recommendations, last revised in June 2003, had been the standard used during the 3rd Round of Mutual Evaluations; the latest revised Recommendations will form the new assessment standard for a fresh round of Mutual Evaluations (4th Round) which will be commencing in 2013.
Please refer to the FATF press statement and media narrative.
Note to editor on the Steering Committee (for combating money laundering and terrorist financing)
The Steering Committee, established in 1999, determines Singapore's broad policy objectives for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The Committee, comprising the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, ensures that various national agencies have effective mechanisms in place to enable them to cooperate and where appropriate, coordinate domestically with each other to strengthen Singapore's resilience against criminal abuse.