Wealth management industry players said the recent probe into a money laundering ring should be viewed in a positive light, and should enhance Singapore’s position as a hub for the region’s richest.
Authorities in August conducted several simultaneous raids and seized the assets of 10 individuals, who have been charged for alleged forgery, money laundering and/or resisting lawful apprehension. The value of the assets seized has since grown to S$2.4 billion, making this the largest anti-money laundering operation in Singapore’s history.
Some players flagged a risk that the crackdown would spur the implementation of measures that are even more stringent.
Such moves could put off clients who prioritise both security and efficiency in transactions, said Shirley Crystal Chua, founder and group chief executive of multi-family office Golden Equator Wealth. "Overly stringent measures may slow down the opening of accounts and result in additional barriers to overseas funds", she added.
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