MAS proposes to strengthen its investigative powers, Economy News & Top Stories

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SINGAPORE – Moves are underway to strengthen the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s investigative powers in the area of evidence gathering.

The proposals, outlined in a consultation paper on Friday (July 2), will be incorporated in amendments to the Financial Institutions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill.

These changes would empower the MAS to enter premises without prior notice or a court warrant in connection with investigations under the Securities and Futures Act or the Financial Advisers Act if the regulator assesses that there is a risk of evidence being destroyed.

It also proposes to extend this power to other Acts it administers such as the Banking and Insurance Acts and the new omnibus Act for the financial sector.

This ability will be extended along with other investigative powers it has under the Securities and Futures and Financial Advisers Acts.

These allow it to compel witnesses to attend interviews and to use evidence gathered by other agencies.

The MAS said: “This will strengthen (our) ability to hold persons accountable for offences under those Acts.”

Other proposals in the consultation paper include clarifying that the MAS may reprimand a person for misconduct even after he or she has left a financial institution or the financial industry.

The MAS also wants to be able to impose requirements on certain financial institutions to manage risks that arise from the conduct of unregulated businesses.

Views on the proposals can be submitted by Aug 1.