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How to Access RegTech as a Small Financial Institution

Regulatory technology (“regtech”), a subset of financial technology (well known as “fintech”), seeks to achieve better regulatory outcomes through the use of technology. Regtech has been used by financial institutions for decades; for example, WorldCheck, a well-known tool used to screen customers. In recent years, regtech gained increasing traction among financial institutions for the efficiency

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Crowdfunding during Covid 19

COVID 19 has caused significant turbulence in the global markets. Global stock markets have yet to recover and traditional assets are less attractive in the current situation. However, a potential bright spark could be seen in the crowdfunding space. As fall-out from COVID 19 has placed enormous pressure on businesses, numerous reports have been compiled

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Understanding the Inconveniences and Risks of Blockchain Technology

Inefficiencies of the Blockchain A digital token’s blockchain functions much like the Torrens land titles register system. If the digital token’s blockchain, a register of digital assets (the “Register” or the “Blockchain”), reflects the user’s digital payment tokens (“DPTs”), the user’s ownership is proved. The assets are recorded in addresses (the “Address”) on the Register

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Licences of Interest to External Asset Managers

External asset managers (“EAMs”) generally provide asset management services to high net worth individuals (“HNWI”) for their segregated accounts on a discretionary basis through a power of attorney, or on an advisory basis. Aside from these core activities, certain EAMs engage in additional activities such as the management of proprietary funds, distribution of funds and

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How Internal Audit Value Adds and Reduces Compliance Costs

We all have heard that internal audit is supposed to add value to the organization when it provides objective and relevant assurance, and contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of governance, risk management, and control processes. We also have heard that compliance costs typically increase as a result of local, national, and international regulations around

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Starting an EAM in Singapore

External or independent asset managers and multi-family offices require a license for fund management and, in most instances, also obtain an exemption from the requirement to hold a license for financial advisory to carry out their services in Singapore. Although the terms are not conclusively defined, external or independent asset managers (“EAMs” or “IAMs”) provide

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Building Relationships and AUM through Digital Marketing

The ability for financial service providers to run relationship management activities was unexpectedly interrupted during the global pandemic. Like all businesses, online interaction has become increasingly central to relationship management. Sourcing sticky AUM via in-person relations will continue to be extremely limited and challenging if not near impossible. As available face time between relationship managers

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Internal control environment after COVID-19

As business gradually returns to normal, companies large and small have begun to deal with a host of financial and operational issues that have been adversely impacted during the Circuit Breaker. Importantly, senior management should evaluate the operating effectiveness of the internal control environment by assessing the risk level and materiality of the actual disruptions

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The Validity of Digital Signatures

The recent pandemic has arguably forced social distancing into the core of all business activities. These include activities where clients and customers are required to engage and interact with their customers digitally. This means that the customer is not able to engage in the physical presence of their relationship managers for matters such as execution

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Making Internal Audits Remote – The Way Forward

While remote working and communications has been possible in business for a long time already, COVID-19 pushed respective initiatives forward at many companies. We have become used to data sharing platforms and video conferencing. These are the same tools that enable your internal audit to be carried out remotely, without the need for your internal

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Why Consolidation is Such a Big Deal for IAMs

Cost is always the biggest concern for independent or external asset managers (“EAM”). It’s no longer a job but a business. As with all businesses there are start-up and on-going expenses involved. The overheads of running an independent setup are never cheap. One solution to keep cost low is to join a platform or joint venture

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Critical Systems Segregation – Simple But Effective Technology Risk Management

Critical systems are defined as systems where in the event of service failure or security breach has the potential to either materially impact the Company’s business operations, reputation, or profitability or which involves customer information. Ringfencing critical systems is a simple but effect TRM measure. In identifying the critical systems, a company must look at

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MAS’s Digital Acceleration Grant, each up to 120k of support

The MAS Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Digital Acceleration Grant (DAG) scheme supports Singapore-based smaller financial institutions and FinTech firms adopt digital solutions to improve productivity, strengthen operational resilience, manage risks better, and serve customers better. To support individual smaller FIs and FinTechs to adopt digital solutions.  Grant criteria Details   Applicant Eligibility Singapore-based FIs regulated

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COVID-19 Measures

COVID-19 continues dominating business, also for financial institutions. The Monetary Authority of Singapore issued several circulars outlining expectations to limit presence in the office and safe distancing measures. On the other hand, MAS has announced support schemes for financial institutions in addition to the general government grants in Singapore. MAS is expecting financial institutions reduce

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RegWatch: Guidelines to Notice PSN02 on Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism – Digital Payment Token Services

An Overview by Aaron Chua of Ingenia Consultants Merkle Science’s RegWatch provides expert commentary on the impact of recent regulatory developments from our partners. This article has been contributed by Aaron Chua, Manager at Ingenia Consultants a Singapore-based financial services compliance consultancy With the introduction of the Payment Services Act 2019 (‘’PS Act”), the Notice PSN02 was

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VCC Grant

Financial Sector Development Fund has earlier this year prepared a variable capital company grant to defray the expenses in relation to Singapore-based services for the incorporation of a variable capital company. The grant was a bid by Singapore to help local fund managers consider new vehicles that can help them attract investments. At the same

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Requirements for the Suitability Assessment in Wealth Management in Singapore

Financial advisers in Singapore are generally required to conduct a suitability assessment. A financial adviser, licensed or exempt, is required to have a reasonable basis when making a recommendation with respect to any investment product (sec. 27(1) FAA as well as sec. 23(4) FAA). In particular, (licensed) financial advisers shall give due consideration to their

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