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    MAS Issues Updates on Its Activities: Ravi Menon Becomes NGFS Chair

    January 21, 2022

    The Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) announced the appointment of Mr. Ravi Menon, the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), as its new Chair for a two-year term. Thereafter, Ms. Sabine Mauderer, a Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, will take over as Chair for the subsequent two years. MAS is one of the eight founding members of NGFS and has been an active participant across its workstreams. MAS has been leading the workstream on micro-prudential supervision, which provides guidance for supervisors on incorporating climate and environmental risks within their supervisory framework. NGFS is also pleased to announce the expansion of its Steering Committee to include the following two new members: Banca d’Italia and Banco Central do Brasil. These institutions are appointed for a two-year term commencing in January 2022.

    Below are the key highlights of other announcements from MAS:

    • The Authority issued guidelines on provision of digital payment token services to the public in an effort to discourage cryptocurrency trading by general public. These guidelines set out MAS’ expectations that digital payment token service providers should not promote their digital payment token services to the general public in Singapore. The digital payment token service providers include payment institutions, banks, and other financial institutions as well as applicants under the Payment Services Act (PS Act). Amendments to the PS Act have been passed in January 2021 to expand the scope of regulated digital payment token services to align with the enhanced standards by the Financial Action Task Force or FATF. 
    • Vistra Trust (Singapore) Pte. Limited (VTSPL) was penalized with SGD 1.1 million for its failures to comply with the AML/CFT requirements of MAS. An MAS inspection carried out from April 2019 to June 2019 uncovered serious breaches of AML/CFT requirements for trust companies by VTSPL, placing it at a higher risk of being used as a conduit for illicit activities. The failures were particularly in relation to higher risk trust relevant parties, such as the settlor, the beneficiary, the trustee, and any person who has power over the disposition of a trust property. VTSPL also failed to perform adequate enhanced customer due diligence for some accounts that had been identified as being of higher risk. MAS reinforced that it will take strong actions against any financial institution that fails to meet its regulatory standards for AML.
    • MAS signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MoU, with Bank Indonesia to strengthen bilateral cooperation and deepen ties. The intention is to promote collaboration on projects in relation to payments innovation, and formalize cooperation across an expanded range of central bank and regulatory functions. These include monetary policy, macro-prudential policy, financial stability, oversight of the payment and settlement systems, regulatory and supervisory frameworks, and anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). The envisaged cooperation will be implemented through policy dialogs, exchange of information, technical cooperation, joint innovation, and working-level committees. 


    Keywords: Asia Pacific, Singapore, Banking, AML CFT, Operational Risk, Customer Due Diligence, Cryptocurrencies, DPT Service Providers, Bank Indonesia, ESG, NGFS Chair, Climate Change Risk, NGFS, MAS 

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