New law will be tighter on moneylending

In the past year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been alerted to a remittance licensee offering consumer loans.
In the past year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been alerted to a remittance licensee offering consumer loans.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mr Billy Lee for his letter (Can remittance companies lend money?; Jan 18).

Remittance companies are currently licensed under the Money-changing and Remittance Businesses Act. This law regulates licensees for their money-changing and remittance activities, primarily to mitigate the risks of money-laundering and terrorism financing.

In the past year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been alerted to a remittance licensee offering consumer loans.

It is not the intent of MAS to allow remittance licensees to conduct consumer lending.

If licensees wish to do more, they must hold the appropriate licence and be subject to the relevant regulatory measures.

We have explained to Mr Lee that when the new Payment Services Bill (PSB) comes into force later this year, licensees under the PSB will be prohibited from conducting consumer lending. Remittance companies that are currently conducting consumer lending will have to cease such activities by the time they are licensed under the PSB.

Jerome Lee

Director (Corporate Communications)

Monetary Authority of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2019, with the headline 'New law will be tighter on moneylending'. Print Edition | Subscribe