MAS Launches Cosmic, an anti-Money Laundering solution

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has unveiled Cosmic, a pioneering digital platform aimed at combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing on a global scale. Launched on April 1, Cosmic marks a significant milestone as the first centralised platform dedicated to these critical issues, signalling MAS’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding the integrity of the financial sector.

The inception of Cosmic follows the enactment of the Financial Services and Markets (Amendment) Act 2023, along with its subsidiary legislation, providing a robust legal framework for information sharing among financial institutions (FIs). This legal foundation ensures that participating FIs can exchange customer information swiftly and securely, particularly when certain “red flags” indicate potential suspicious activities.

Designed to facilitate efficient intelligence exchange while upholding confidentiality, Cosmic mandates stringent policies and operational safeguards for participant FIs. This strategic approach not only enables the timely detection and prevention of financial crimes but also safeguards the interests of legitimate customers.

MAS collaborated with six leading commercial banks in Singapore—OCBC, UOB, DBS, Citibank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered—to co-develop Cosmic. These banks will serve as participant FIs during the platform’s initial phase, underlining a collective commitment to combatting financial crime within the commercial banking sector. The initiative emphasises voluntary information sharing and focuses on addressing key financial crime risks, including the misuse of legal persons, trade finance, and proliferation financing.

Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director for Policy, Payments, and Financial Crime at MAS, emphasised Cosmic’s role in enhancing collaboration between the industry and law enforcement authorities. This collaboration reinforces Singapore’s reputation as a well-regulated and trusted financial hub. Pua Xiao Wei of Citi Singapore and Loretta Yuen of OCBC expressed their institutions’ support for Cosmic, recognising its potential to bolster anti-money laundering efforts significantly. DBS’ Lam Chee Kin hailed Cosmic as a “game changer,” highlighting its critical role in striking a balance between combating financial crime and ensuring access to financial services for legitimate customers.

With Cosmic’s launch, MAS and Singapore’s banking sector take a decisive step forward in fortifying the nation’s defences against illicit financial activities. As the platform evolves and expands its reach, it is poised to set new benchmarks in global efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, reaffirming Singapore’s leadership in financial integrity and innovation.

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