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Monetary Authority of Singapore launches data-sharing platform to combat money laundering

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The platform is named Cosmic and it will enable financial institutions to securely share information on customers or transactions

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced the launch of a data and information-sharing platform, Cosmic, to prevent money laundering, terrorism funding, and proliferation financing, according to media reports. The platform will help enable financial institutions to securely share information on customers or transactions where they cross material risk thresholds.

Presently, MAS is working with six major commercial banks – DBS, OCBC, UOB, SCB, Citibank and HSBC on the Cosmic platform. Said to be one of a kind platform in the world, it will enable information to be shared in a structured format that allows for seamless integration with data analytics tools.

Additionally, the bank will also run Cosmic and is promising legislation to ensure information sharing will only be allowed for fighting money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing. The six banks will continue to co-develop the platform with MAS and will be the initial users when it is rolled out in 2023 along with a framework to govern information sharing.

The platform will initially focus on three key financial crime risks in commercial banking: abuse of shell companies, misuse of trade finance for illicit purposes, and proliferation financing. Eventually, MAS plans to extend Cosmic’s coverage to more financial institutions and plans on making some areas of sharing compulsory.

Loo Siew Yee, assistant MD, MAS, told the media, “Cosmic will significantly enhance our financial institutions’ ability to detect and curb suspicious activity while minimising the impact on legitimate actors. The information-sharing framework is designed to target serious criminal behaviours and allow FIs to more quickly detect the bad actors to purge and deter them.”

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