Wednesday, October 12, 2016

MAS Notice FAA-N13 Amendment Notice September 2016

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) has issued amended notice on Notice on Minimum Entry and Examination Requirements for Representatives of Licensed Financial Financial Advisers and Exempt Financial Advisers. The several key changes to the Guidelines in the revision are:

  • Provide further clarification on when CMFAS Module 5 on rules and regulations must be retaken; and
  • Provide exemptions from Continuing Professional Development ("CPF") training requirements to :
    1. An appointed representative who only provides execution-related advice and the financial advisory service of marketing of any collective investment scheme, and
    2. An appointed representative who only provide the financial advisory service of marketing of any collective investment scheme.
For more information, please read our regulatory update here.

Monday, September 5, 2016

MAS Guidelines on Outsourcing

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) has issued amended Guidelines on Outsourcing Risk Management (“Outsourcing Guidelines”) to financial institutions (“FIs”). The several key changes to the Guidelines in the revision are:

  • The definition of “material outsourcing arrangement” has been revised to include an arrangement that involves customer information.
  • The expectation for FIs to pre-notify MAS of material outsourcing arrangements has been removed.
  • A new section on cloud computing has been incorporated that submits cloud computing to the Outsourcing Guidelines (and thus confirms that FIs can make use of it).
For more information, please read our regulatory update here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

MAS withdraws V Wealth’s status as a RFMC

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) withdrew V Wealth Capital Pte Ltd’s status as a Registered Fund Management Company (“RFMC”) with effect from 20 May 2016. V Wealth will no longer be allowed to carry out fund management activities in Singapore.

The decision was made as V Wealth had failed to comply with the following requirements:
  • Failure to notify MAS of,
    1. change of its principal place of business;
    2. resignation of its director; and
    3. change to the personal particulars of its director.
  • Failure to submit an auditor’s report and the accompanying financial statements. 
  • Failure to furnish to MAS information requested by MAS via the written directions issued.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The U.S. Treasury Announces Key Regulations

The U.S Department of the Treasury announced several actions to strengthen financial transparency and combat the misuse of companies to engage in illicit activities. These actions target the key points of access when:
  • companies open accounts at financial institutions;
  • companies are formed, or ownership is transferred; and
  • foreign-owned U.S. companies seek to evade their taxes.
Most of these AML/CFT measures have already been implemented and practised in other jurisdictions, including Singapore.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Common Reporting Standards: The Structure of the Agreements

In July 2014, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) published the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEoI”) in tax matters (the “Standard”). The goal of the Standard is to improve cooperation between tax administrations, to protect the integrity of tax systems and to clamp down on offshore tax evasion. 

In order to implement the Standard and for the AEoI to become effective a number of steps must be taken. 
  • Translating the reporting and due diligence rules into domestic law; 
  • Agreements between countries as a legal basis for the AEoI between these specific countries; 
  • Putting in place the administrative and IT infrastructure to collect and exchange information under the Standard. 
Singapore has agreed to work towards implementing AEoI Standards by 2018.

For more information, please read out white paper on the topic here.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

IOSCO Opens Office in Malaysia

Malaysia has become the place which the capital markets watchdog, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”), will open its first office outside its headquarters in Madrid, Spain.

The office which will serve as an Asia Pacific hub is to open by the end of 2016. The centre will play a key role for IOSCO when it comes to building of regulatory capabilities across developed and emerging markets, according to the regulator.

IOSCO is the international body that brings together the world's securities regulators and is recognized as the global standard setter for the securities sector. Its members regulate more than 95% of the world's securities markets in more than 115 jurisdictions.

Malaysia welcomed as a member to the FATF

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) granted full membership to Malaysia during its plenary meeting in Paris on 17-19 February.

In its 2015 Mutual Evaluation Report, FATF had recognized that Malaysia had overall “good levels of compliance with the FATF Recommendations”, although improvements were “needed”. Since this evaluation, Malaysia has worked to develop an action plan for addressing the key effectiveness issues identified during the evaluation. FATF said it agreed to grant membership “based on the commitment demonstrated by the action plan and the continuing progress in efforts to improve its Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (“AML/CFT”)”. FATF will continue to monitor Malaysia’s progress through its enhanced follow-up process.

Monday, February 29, 2016

SFC Circular to Licensed Corporations Licensed for Dealing in Securities on Protecting Client Assets against Internal Misconduct

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) has issued a circular on protecting client assets against internal misconduct at licensed corporations (“LCs”) licensed for dealing in securities. The SFC has observed that some LCs have weak internal controls and lax management supervision. This renders them susceptible to the threat of internal misconduct, which could result in theft and fraud against client assets. Internal misconduct may be perpetrated not only by front office staff, but also by back office staff, collusion between front and back office staff, or collusion between staff and third parties.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

BRP Opens First Office in Asia



Maroon is pleased to announce that our partners BRP Bizzozero & Partners, experts on the management of cross-border risks, have set up their subsidiary in Singapore with a successful launch event held at the Arts House last month.

This is the firm's first foray into Asia, after already having operations in Geneva, Zurich, London and Luxembourg. BRP (Asia) Private Limited will provide the firm with a foothold in the Asian market and a platform to work closer with clients in the region.

BRP is widely recognised for its Country Manuals that provide guidance on compliance in cross-border financial services. In addition to the Country Manuals Private Banking, of which BRP has already published Country Manuals for over 110 jurisdictions, other Country Manuals cover areas such as asset management, taxes and financial products.

News on the launch of BRP (Asia) was also recently featured in reputable finance media outlet, Finews. Click here to see the article.

Those interested to know more about BRP's services may contact Maroon at compliance@maroonanalytics.com or contact BRP (Asia) directly at infoasia@brpsa.com.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Illicit Personal Dealing through Other Persons’ Accounts

Personal dealing, or personal trading has become a relatively recurring topic in a time where miscreants in the financial industry are inventing new ways to circumvent laws and internal policies. In the past monthsHong Kong has seen several cases of enforcement actions taken against representatives of financial institutions with regards to personal dealing activities.
Most recently, the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") banned a representative licensed under the Securities and Futures Ordinance ("SFO) from re-entering the industry for 10 months for side-stepping the personal dealing policies of his employers. He hid his personal securities transactions from his employers by operating them through the personal securities account of his friend who was also a licensed representative in another firmThe friend has also been suspended by the SFC for a period of three months for abetment. The conduct of both representatives was in breach of the SFC's Code of Conduct which requires licensed corporations to actively monitor the personal trading activities of their employees. As a result of their actions, their respective employers were not able to ensure that there were no conflicts of interests or misconduct arising from their personal trading activities.