MAS mulls revised framework for SFOs to combat money laundering

Last updated on 31 August 2023

In its ongoing efforts to combat money laundering in the country, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is proposing a revised framework to subject all single family office (SFO) in the Republic to anti-money laundering controls.

Under the proposed revisions to the current framework, which was opened to public consultation in August 2023, SFOs will come under a consistent set of exemption criteria for their licensing requirements. Public consultation is expected to be completed by the end of September 2023.

MAS has identified the SFO sector as a key risk for potential money laundering activities in Singapore. The move comes against the backdrop of more families setting up family office in Singapore in recent years. Under the current rules, not all SFOs must be licensed by MAS. Some SFOs rely on class exemptions or apply to MAS for exemptions from licensing requirements as they do not manage third-party assets.

Among the proposed changes is a harmonised class exemption for the SFO sector. Furthermore, Singapore-registered SFOs must report their total assets managed at the end of each calendar year. These proposed changes aim for a better monitoring system to manage the SFOs operating in Singapore.