On the 10th March 2017, Singapore’s Parliament passed changes to the Companies Act to help supplement its fight against money laundering and terrorist financing (ML and TF).
To ensure transparency and better governance, companies must now maintain a register that lists out their beneficial owner‘s names and residential address. These amendments are expected to be in effect by 31st Match 2016, but a 60 days transitional period will be given from the start date.
This may be the one of the first step towards identifying beneficial owners and will make it easier for Financial Institutions to conduct their due diligence. However, the challenge still lies on the accuracy of such information where rouge companies involving in ML are known to restructure their ownership after due diligence or account opening is completed.
More information on the Companies Act can be found here.
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