MAS explains investigation approach to financial misconduct

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has published an enforcement monograph that explains how it selects matters for investigation, as well as the investigative powers and enforcement actions it can take against misconduct in the financial sector.

Published yesterday, the new enforcement monograph supersedes an earlier one published in 2016 that covered enforcement only within the capital markets.

The MAS has a centralised enforcement department since 2016, under which a specialised team of investigators, surveillance and forensic officers and lawyers are responsible for enforcement across the banking sector, insurance and capital markets.

In its monograph, the MAS explained how it prioritises cases for investigation. Some of the criteria it considers when choosing which cases to elevate to a full investigation include the level of public interest, the number of victims involved, the amount lost or gained, the sophistication of scheme, reputational damage caused to the industry, and the prevalence of the form of misconduct.

The MAS regulates more than 1,500 financial institutions and administers 23 primary statutes.

It has the power to order companies to hand over documents. Under the Securities and Futures Act, it can also apply for injunctions to prevent the dissipation of property, to ensure sufficient funds to satisfy civil penalty.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2018, with the headline 'MAS explains investigation approach to financial misconduct'. Print Edition | Subscribe