SINGAPORE, April 1 — The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has launched Cosmic, the first centralised digital platform to facilitate sharing of customer information among financial institutions (FIs) to combat money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing globally.

MAS Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments & Financial Crime) Loo Siew Yee said Cosmic will enable FIs to warn each other of suspicious activities and make more informed risk assessments on a timely basis.

“It complements the industry’s existing close collaboration with MAS and law enforcement authorities to combat financial crime. This will strengthen Singapore’s capabilities to uphold our reputation as a well-regulated and trusted financial centre,” she said in a statement, Monday.

Cosmic was co-developed by MAS and six major commercial banks in Singapore — DBS, OCBC, UOB, Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, that will be the participant FIs on Cosmic during its initial phase.

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MAS said information sharing is currently voluntary and focused on three key financial crime risks in commercial banking such as misuse of legal persons, misuse of trade finance for illicit purposes, and proliferation financing.

Meanwhile, the Financial Services and Markets (Amendment) Act 2023 and accompanying subsidiary legislation, which set out the legal basis and safeguards for such sharing, commenced on the same day.

The Financial Services and Markets Act 2022 (FSMA) was amended in May 2023 following public consultation in October 2021, to set out the legislative framework for Cosmic.

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“A Cosmic participant FI may share customer information with another participant FI only if the customer’s profile or behaviour displays certain objectively-defined indicators of suspicion, or ‘red flags’,” MAS said.

The FSMA also requires participant FIs to have in place policies and operational safeguards to protect the confidentiality of information shared as this will safeguard the interests of the vast majority of customers who are legitimate. — Bernama