The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plans to launch a digital platform for financial institutions (FIs) to share with one another relevant information on customers and transactions to prevent money laundering (ML), terrorism financing (TF) and proliferation financing (PF) .
The new digital platform, named COSMIC, for “Collaborative Sharing of ML/TF Information & Cases”, will be launched in the first half of 2023.
The COSMIC platform was co-created by MAS and six major commercial banks in Singapore, namely, DBS, OCBC, UOB, SCB, Citibank and HSBC.
The six banks involved in COSMIC’s development, which are leading players in commercial banking, will participate and be permitted to share information in COSMIC during this initial phase.
MAS plans to progressively extend COSMIC’s coverage to more FIs and focus areas and make some aspects of sharing mandatory.
COSMIC will initially focus on three key financial crime risks in commercial banking, namely, abuse of shell companies, misuse of trade finance for illicit purposes, and PF.
It will have strong security features to prevent unauthorised access to information, and will be operated by MAS.
MAS will provide in legislation that this information sharing by FIs is permitted only for the purpose of combating ML, TF and PF.
The regulator will require all COSMIC participants to implement robust measures to safeguard against unauthorised use and disclosure of the information shared.
MAS will supervise FIs for compliance with these requirements and take action against errant FIs.
The regulator is seeking feedback on the proposed legislative framework for COSMIC by 1 November 2021.
Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments & Financial Crime) at MAS said,
“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.”