The Singapore Government has put in place new anti-money laundering and terrorism financing requirements for property developers that will require them to perform due diligence checks on their buyers and flag suspicious activity.
The Developers (Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Bill amends both the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act and the Sale of Commercial Properties Act, which regulate the sale of residential and commercial properties before they are completed by developers. Those convicted of not complying with the new provisions may be fined up to S$100,000.
Mr Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, said that developers will now be required to carry out customer due diligence checks on buyers, keep proper records relating to these checks, and report any suspicious transactions to the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Officers.
Developers will also have to implement programmes to train their employees, and develop internal policies as well as controls to manage and mitigate money laundering and terrorism financing risks. Additionally, individuals who have been convicted of money laundering and terrorism financing offences will be barred from being developers. In the event of investigations and any subsequent criminal proceedings, developers will also be required to comply by producing relevant information, retaining documents and making copies, and disclosing information. Minister Wong said these changes will bring Singapore’s anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regime in line with the international standards set out by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).