On 28 July 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revoked the Capital Markets Services (CMS) licence of Apical Asset Management Pte. Ltd. (AAMPL) for serious breaches of MAS’ Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements. AAMPL’s CEO and Director Yeh Yin Yee and Director Bernard Kan Cheok Yin have also been reprimanded for failing to discharge their duties and functions of ensuring that AAMPL complies with all laws and rules governing its operations.  

MAS’ inspection of AAMPL uncovered severe deficiencies in AAMPL’s AML/CFT controls from 2013 to 2018:

  • Basic AML/CFT policies and procedures not in place, which exposed AAMPL to the risk of receiving and/or laundering the proceeds of crime. 
  • Risk was heightened due to complex ownership structures, comprising multiple layers and investment entities, used by some of AAMPL’s customers.
  • Committed serious breaches of MAS’ AML/CFT requirements under the Notice on Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism – Capital Markets Intermediaries (Notice SFA04-N02). Particularly:
    • AAMPL did not conduct any enterprise-wide ML/TF risk assessment (EWRA)
    • AAMPL did not properly assess its customers to determine whether they presented higher ML/TF risks
    • AAMPL’s ongoing monitoring controls and procedures were deficient
    • AAMPL did not subject its AML/CFT controls to independent audits to assess their effectiveness

Based on all the above findings, MAS assessed that AAMPL has fundamentally breached its duty as a CMS licence holder to comply with the laws and rules governing its operations, warranting a revocation of its CMS licence. Under Section 95 (2) (c) and Section 95 (da)  of the SFA, MAS may revoke a CMS license, if the Authority has reason to believe that CMS licence holder has not performed its duties efficiently and honestly or has failed to satisfy any of its obligations under or arising from the SFA or any written direction issued by the Authority.

Date: 29 July 2020

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