The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plans to increase its use of data analytics in combating trade-based money laundering (TBML) and other financial crimes in the year ahead according to the authority’s assistant managing director, banking and insurance group, Ho Hern Shin.

Speaking at the Association of Banks in Singapore’s Financial Crime Seminar earlier this month, Ho said MAS would also be seeking to boost industry collaboration in the context of the recently launched Anti-money laundering and Counter financing of terrorism Industry Partnership (ACIP).

TBML focus

The ACIP recently launched two best practice papers on TBML and the abuse of legal persons.

These were topics jointly identified by ACIP industry members and MAS as high risk areas to address together.

Useful and practical

Though the papers were published fairly recently, Ho said the MAS has received feedback that the industry finds them useful and practical.

“Some banks have begun to incorporate the best practices in their policies and processes,” she said and noted that a recent ABS training seminar on TBML was over-subscribed.

Data analytics

Ho wants to see a more focused approach to combating financial crime and a greater use of data analytics.

“Technology, and in particular data analytics, can significantly augment our ability to identify higher risk areas, and both the industry and MAS have begun to invest great efforts to tap into it,” she said.