Articles and Events Summary

Payment Services Act 2019

The Payment Services Bill (PSB) is an Act to provide for the licensing and regulation of payment service providers, the oversight of payment systems, and connected matters. PSB was passed in Parliament on 14 January 2019 . The PSB act shall repeal the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act (Cap. 222A) (“PS(O)A”) and the Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses Act (Cap. 187) (“MCRBA”) and shall streamlines the regulation of payment services under a single legislative framework , PSB is targeted to commence in January 2020.

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FMC Regimes in Singapore & Hong Kong: A Comparison

The Article provides a comparative study of the fund management regime of Singapore and Hong Kong, with particular reference to capital and competency requirements, use of custodians, accountability of Senior Managers, Application Process, Costs, and Processing Timelines.

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Financial Requirements for CMS License Other than Fund Management

A company must hold a Capital Markets Services (CMS) License to conduct activities regulated under the Securities and Futures Act. Here’s a handy guide on the financial requirements for CMS License other than Fund Management.

Check out the Infographic here.

Industry News


New Rules to Strengthen Cyber Resilience of Financial Industry from MAS

To strengthen the cyber resilience and enforce good cyber hygiene as well as to raise the cyber security standards for the financial industry, a set of legally binding requirement was released by MAS. The notice makes the following requirements mandatory and shall be complied by all FI’s by 06 August 2020

  • To establish and implement robust security for IT systems;
  • To ensure updates are applied to address system security flaws in a timely manner;
  • To deploy security devices to restrict unauthorised network traffic;
  • To implement measures to mitigate the risk of malware infection;
  • To secure the use of system accounts with special privileges to prevent unauthorised access; and
  • To strengthen user authentication for critical systems as well as systems used to access customer information.

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MAS launches Sandbox Express for Faster Testing of Innovative Financial Products

MAS has launched the ‘Sandbox Express’ to provide firms with a faster option to market-test some innovative financial products and services.

Initially, Sandbox Express will be available for:

  1. carrying on business as an insurance broker;
  2. establishing or operating an organised market; and
  3. remittance business

Eligible applicants can begin market testing in the pre-defined environment of Sandbox Express within 21 days of applying to MAS. Experiments in Sandbox Express can remain for up to nine months.

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Singapore Central Bank steps up scrutiny of shell firms

The Central Bank of Singapore has raised its watch against money launderers who are increasingly using shell companies to hide their transactions. MAS has instructed banks to “actively look for shell companies that can be abused for illicit financing. So, there’s a supervisory expectation for pro-active detection and disruption of illicit finance.”

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MAS bans 3 Singaporeans jailed in landmark insider trading case

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued Prohibition Orders (PO) against three Singaporean men who ran an illegal share trading scheme through which they made $2Million each. The offences were committed between 2007 and 2014 involving about 40 companies including Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust, CapitaMalls Asia and Global Logistic Properties.

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Tough measures announced by Austrac after being ‘flooded’ with money laundering breaches

Australia’s anti-money laundering regulator has warned that it is likely to take more action against the nation’s top financial institutions after being “flooded” with reports of potential money-laundering breaches.

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DNB failed to comply with anti-money laundering regulations, finds Norway’s FSA

Norway’s Financial Watchdog – FSA (Financial Supervisory Authority) has found some major shortcomings in DNB’s compliance with Anti-Money Laundering rules during a late-2018 inspection. The FSA found shortcomings in risk assessments, monitoring of electronic transactions and in documentation of measures taken by DNB. FSA also uncovered problems with DNB’s Private Banking unit and has said that a separate inspection would be launched shortly.

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British Qatari-controlled bank being investigated by UK over money-laundering

The British-registered, Qatari state-controlled bank Al Rayan, that has been acting as a platform for extremists’ interests in Europe, is being investigated over its money laundering controls. The investigation has resulted in certain restrictions on the bank, preventing it from opening new deposit accounts for anyone categorised as “high risk”.

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New Chapter for Digital Banks – MAS Invites applications for new licences

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that it will begin accepting applications for new digital bank licences. Interested parties have until 31 December 2019 to submit their applications. The new digital bank licences, which will be extended to non-bank players, will ensure that Singapore’s banking sector continues to be resilient, competitive and vibrant.

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Regulatory Updates


05 August 2019 – Consultation Paper on Requirements on Controls Against Market Abuse

This consultation sets out MAS’ proposed requirements on financial institutions, and are aimed at improving controls and facilitating investigations into cases of market abuse.

To read further on the keynote, please click here

05 August 2019 – Explanatory Brief on the Variable Capital Companies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill.

The Bill amends the Variable Capital Companies Act 2018; Income Tax Act (Cap. 134); Goods and Services Tax Act (Cap. 117A); and Stamp Duties Act (Cap. 312).

To read further on the amendment, please click here.


19 August 2019 – FATF Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach for Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers

FATF’s guidance for implementing the risk-based approach for virtual assets and virtual asset service providers

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21 August 2019 –Form 11 – Appointment of Chief Executive Officer or Director / Change of Director’s Nature of Appointment from Non-Executive to Executive (For Licensed Fund Management Companies)

Updated form for licensed fund management companies to apply for the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer or director; or to change a directors role from non-executive to executive.

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26 August 2019 – Consultation Paper on Revised Biannual Report and Implementation Timeline for Complaints Handling and Resolution Regulations

Consultation on the revised biannual report and proposed implementation timeline under the proposed Complaints Handling and Resolution Regulations.

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28 August 2019 – Form 22A – Notice of Commencement of Business as a Registered Fund Management Company

Updated form for entities to apply to be a registered fund management company.

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28 August 2019 – Form 23A – Notice of Change of Particulars for a Registered Fund Management Company or a Venture Capital Fund Manager

Updated form for registered fund management companies and venture capital fund managers to notify MAS of changes to their particulars and particulars of their directors, representatives, relevant professionals or shareholders, to be submitted within 14 days after the date of the change.

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28 August 2019 – Form 1A – Application for a Capital Markets Services Licence for Fund Management Company

Updated application Form for entities to apply to be a licensed fund management company.

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30 August 2019 – Notice FAA-N19 Distribution of Direct Purchase Insurance Products

Updated requirements for financial advisers and their representatives with respect to the distribution of direct purchase insurance products.

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