MAS proposes extended regulatory clout over financial services in new bill

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) may gather more regulatory powers over Singapore’s financial services sector with the introduction of a new Bill this week.

The MAS said this regulatory change will help it deal with financial sector-wide risks in a rapidly changing and increasingly integrated environment.

According to the Straits Times, under the proposed law, the new powers would include prohibiting any person who is not fit and proper from engaging in any activity regulated by MAS, as well as performing a prescribed list of key roles and functions in the financial sector.

MAS said this broadens the categories of individuals who may be subject to prohibition orders, as well as rationalising the grounds for issuing such orders into a single fit and proper test and widens the scope of the prohibition to cover functions like handling of funds and assets and risk management and control.

The authority has also proposed to introduce enhanced regulation of virtual asset service providers, which includes those in digital payment tokens or cryptocurrencies, for terrorist financing risks and money laundering.

MAS said, “MAS considers all transactions relating to digital token services to carry higher inherent money laundering and terrorist financing risks due to their anonymity and speed.”

The bill also puts forward the harmonised power to impose requirements on financial institutions regarding technology risk management in order to ensure the safety and soundness of the tech systems. MAS also wants to provide statutory protection from liability for mediators, adjudicators and employees of an operator in an approved dispute resolution scheme.

MAS added, “This will strengthen the confidence and autonomy of these individuals when they carry out their duties.”

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