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Monetary Authority of Singapore Plans Shared Data Platform to Combat Money Laundering

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plans to introduce a digital platform and enabling regulatory framework that will allow financial institutions to share data on customers and transactions with the aim of preventing money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing – a means of raising, moving or making available financing, funds, assets or other economic resources to individuals or entities to support the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The platform, COSMIC – Collaborative Sharing of ML/TF Information and Cases – will enable FIs to securely share data on customers or transactions where they cross material risk thresholds.  The platform has been co-created by MAS and six banks in Singapore, namely DBS, OCBC, UOB, SCB, Citibank and HSBC. It will have strong security features to prevent unauthorised access to data and will be operated by MAS.

MAS says the COSMIC platform will be the first centralised platform where information is shared in a structured format that allows seamless integration with data analytics tools. This will help FIs collaborate productively and at scale. The platform’s regulatory framework will specify the types of data to be shared, and the circumstances under which data sharing will be permitted or mandated. MAS will use the information from COSMIC in risk surveillance to detect illicit networks operating in the financial system and target these activities for timely supervisory intervention.

Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director (policy, payments and financial crime) at MAS, says: “COSMIC will significantly enhance our financial institutions’ ability to detect and curb suspicious activity, while minimising the impact on legitimate actors. The information sharing framework is designed to target serious criminal behaviours and allow FIs to more quickly detect bad actors and purge and deter them.”

MAS plans to introduce COSMIC in the first half of 2023. The six banks involved in the platform’s development will participate and be permitted to share data in COSMIC during this initial phase. The authority plans to progressively extend coverage of the platform to more FIs and focus areas, and make some aspects of data sharing mandatory.

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