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A Guide on Compliance with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

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If one would like to delve into the fund management industry in Singapore, getting MAS compliance approval would be one major requirement to secure. Although Singapore is known to be one of the best places to do business, its regulations and government compliance requirements can be complicated to navigate – especially for those without experience starting a business in Singapore. As a fund-related business, the requirements to start operations in the country would include approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) – which adds a bit more layers of difficulty before one could get up and running. 

This guide is here to help give businesses some insight into how the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) works and how a fund-related company can secure approval to operate from them.

How the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Works

Singapore is a major international financial centre. It has a strong and stable economy that attracts investors and business ventures from all over the world. This includes businesses in the fund management industry, giving investors a wide variety of choices to invest and grow their wealth in Singapore. However, getting approval for a licence to conduct fund management and transactional matters in Merlion City is complicated. 

There are many laws and compliance criteria outlined by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) that must be followed. Such an approach is expected since Singapore prides itself as a nation that can provide dependable financial institutions and trustworthy financial services.

The compliance applies when you appoint your directors, chief executive officers, deputy chief executive officers, chief financial officers, and chief risk officers. You must secure MAS’ approval before allowing your appointees to do their jobs. To gain approval, you must prove that your appointees meet the “Fit and Proper” guidelines.

When considering whether an appointee is fit and proper, MAS has three criteria.

    • Honesty, integrity, and reputation
    • Competence and capability 
    • Financial soundness

    MAS will look at an appointee’s track record to determine honesty and integrity. For example, if they were ever refused the right to hold a licence to conduct business in any jurisdiction. And whether the appointee has been investigated which may lead to a conviction in Singapore or elsewhere. 

    For the competence and capability criteria, MAS will look at their past performance and expertise related to their roles. They also need to possess a good educational background and obtain relevant certificates that prove their skills. MAS will also examine whether they have a conflict of interest with their responsibilities at another entity that may impair their judgment. 

    Meanwhile, MAS will look at appointees’ financial history to assess the financial soundness criteria. They want to know whether the appointee has ever been unable to fulfil their financial obligations. They also want to make sure the candidates have no excess debts or unethical money arrangements with investors.

    After successfully gaining approval from the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), all appointees must also follow the guidelines on Individual Accountability and Conduct (IAC). The guidelines have the following five desired outcomes:

      • Financial institutions should clearly identify senior managers responsible for the business’s operations.
      • Appointed senior managers should be deemed proper and fit to be responsible for the operations and conduct of the business.
      • Financial institutions should implement a clear and transparent governance framework. This framework should foster a supportive and conducive working environment that outlines one’s roles and responsibilities.
      • Employees hired in material risk functions are deemed proper and fit to do their roles. They must be subject to effective risk governance and have appropriate incentive structures and standards of conduct.
      • The financial institution has a framework that promotes and sustains the desired conduct among all employees.

      Complying with the criteria and requirements above is necessary for fund management and financial institutions in Singapore. However, this can be a lengthy process that’s complicated and time-consuming. That’s why Lanturn has a team of experts, ready to help with your every need. From aiding in your business’ incorporation to securing government compliance, our team of experts is more than capable of helping you get your business up and running in no time!
       

      Compliance Made Easier with Lanturn

      Lanturn is a trusted partner in helping businesses grow and comply with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). With our years of experience and comprehensive range of services, we can guarantee that your company stays on the right side of regulations. 

      Our Know Your Customer (KYC) checks thoroughly verify customer identities, minimising the risk of financial crimes and helping your company take its risk management strategy to the next level. Additionally, our expertise in fund formation allows us to guide you through the process, ensuring compliance with MAS guidelines while crafting a fund that genuinely works for your needs. 

      We also offer MAS licensing advisory, assisting you in navigating the complex regulatory landscape and obtaining the necessary licences for your operations. 

      Contact us today to learn more about how our team can be of service.

       

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