Anti-Money Laundering: Increased Enforcement and Control

By: Kok Cheong Hong

Paper with words Anti-money laundering (AML)

Across the globe, authorities have increased enforcement and control to combat money laundering. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently created dedicated anti-money laundering departments and strengthened its enforcement unit. It’s expected Central Banks in Asia will set up similar enforcement units. In the United States, the Department of Justice recently accused individuals from Malaysia of embezzling billions of dollars from 1MDB, a government-linked company.

Let’s look at the new environment and how banks can gain the knowledge they’ll need to navigate the new rules and regulations.

Anti-Laundering Enforcement Rules Create Need for Strong Knowledge-Based Community

The new anti-laundering departments and enforcement units across Asia and the U.S. create the need for a strong knowledge-based community among regulators and the financial institutions they govern. This can be a challenge.

Here’s what the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced in June:

Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

The new dedicated AML department at MAS focuses on governance of existing regulatory money laundering policies and other illicit financing risks. Its role is to streamline MAS enforcement to financial institutions within its purview. This team will monitor risks and provide onsite supervision of how financial institutions manage these risks. This initiative will be carried out by different departments in MAS to enhance supervisory focus.


MAS will conduct rigorous in-depth investigations of suspected violations and misdemeanors and will take swift action to establish culpability.

MAS will centralize  and strengthen its enforcement functions under a new enforcement department. The new department will work with the commercial affairs department to jointly investigate misconduct and potential threats in the capital markets. It will enforce a more comprehensive action plan to handle regulatory breaches of MAS banking, insurance, and capital markets regulations.

There are 3 key components required for the AML enforcement:

  • Policies imbedded into compliance
  • Better governance
  • Insightful investors background review

This creates the need for a strong knowledge-based community among regulators and the financial institutions they govern. The challenge when building a knowledge-based community is in the dissemination of information and the assessment of the community’s understanding of information.

Zoologic Learning Solutions from SS&C is an online learning solution that registers and disseminates both internal and external learning content that administrators deem essential for learning. It’s interactive: users take online tests at their convenience and a grading tool consolidates statistics of all users within an organization .

Zoologic Learning Solutions recently helped the Republic Bank meet compliance regulations with an anti-money laundering program. Read about it here. To learn how we can help you, contact Kok Cheong Hong  at +06076522968.

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