Hong Kong at Laundering’s Cutting Edge

here Hong Kong and Singapore face a money laundering clampdown in the next few months as local banking organisations and regulatory authorities launch rulebooks bringing local rules in line with international standards. These standards are recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Basel Committee. Some Asian financial institutions will be forced to tighten up their controls.

here Local banks, and branches of institutions based in the Asian region can expect tighter scrutiny. But the new rules are expected to have minimal affect on international private banks established in the two jurisdictions who apply systems laid out by their headquarters, say regulators.

source Asia ’s two leading financial centres are taking different routes to money laundering compliance. Singapore’s new rules will be based on risk-based principles, says Tan Sin Liang, a partner with SL Tan and Co, who is advising the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on its money laundering law. Countries with risk-based systems delegate decisions about the level of due diligence imposed on each transaction or customer to the bank. The local regulators typically police the system with unannounced visits.

http://adetacher.com/misroe/jisdr/5635 The system is devised to assist the banks, says Mr Tan: ‘We are throwing the ball into the banks’ court. The private bank has to determine for itself whether a customers is a higher or lower risk. It does not have to apply the whole range of due diligence procedures to a low risk customer. That is good for the banks because it means they don’t have to apply the same set of rules to every customer. This is the international approach and it is the way forward.’

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