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Singapore Boosts Enforcement to Protect Investors

Singapore Boosts Enforcement to Protect Investors

by Starling Insights

Starling Insights Editorial Board


In 2021, Singapore attracted a record-breaking $335 billion of new investment, reflecting it as a trusted global financial hub. But after the country's reputation was damaged by a series of high-profile scandals, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has stepped up its focus on enforcement.

In 2022, the regulator announced a record number of enforcement actions. And it seems determined to improve its ability to detect and punish misconduct even further. "Why are people coming here? Because they trust our financial system," said Peggy Pao, head of MAS's enforcement department. "You want a welcoming industry for sure, but that doesn't mean you go light.”

By centralizing its enforcement under Pao's department, MAS has made its process for investigations and reviews much more efficient. MAS is also considering other proposals to protect investors' rights, by establishing an ombudsman, a market conduct tribunal, a procedure for class-action lawsuits, and increased penalties for severe cases of corporate malfeasance.

In a contribution to Starling's 2021 Compendium, Ho Hern Shin, MAS's Deputy Managing Director for Supervision, explained how the regulator supervises organizational culture as a means of helping to prevent misconduct entirely.  "A sound organisational culture strengthens alignment of attitudes and behaviours within an organisation to positive corporate values," she wrote. β€œIt ensures consistency and quality in how financial institutions execute their policies and processes, and how they make decisions on a daily basis at all levels within the organisation.” [Read More]

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