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White Collar Crime

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The Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing of Financial Institutions recently promulgated by the People’s Bank of China came into effect on 1 August 2021. Among other things, the Measures expand the scope of applicable entities, provide specific details of internal control and risk management requirements and increase PBOC’s supervision and administration powers. The new Measures are a significant development, demonstrating China’s efforts to improve and enhance its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime.

In July of 2017, Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced in a speech that after 2021 the FCA would no longer use its power to compel panel banks to submit rate information used to determine the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Mr. Bailey encouraged the market to develop robust alternative reference rates to replace LIBOR.

The South African Reserve Bank has recently issued a directive concerning issuing and acquiring domestic card transactions. The Directive introduces regulations for all card issuers, card acquirers and domestic merchants regarding card issuing, acquiring and acceptance services for domestic card transactions. The Directive aims to ensure that the provision of domestic card payment services does not endanger the National Payment System, and for this reason, the SARB requires domestic card issuers to be domestic clearing system participants and requires that domestic merchants use local card acquirers.

The Singapore Health Sciences Authority is trialing an e-commerce surveillance tool to crack down on contraband products sold online, including illegal drugs, health products and cosmetics. The bot uses robotic process automation and artificial intelligence to trawl through online listings. It analyses information from the listings, including pictures, descriptions and profiles, to identify illegal products and listings that contain illegal or dangerous ingredients.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently released a consultation (“Consultation”) on its “Proposed Amendments to MAS’ Investigative and Other Powers under the Various Acts.” The amendments, to be introduced through the Financial Institutions (“Miscellaneous Amendments”) Bill (“proposed provisions”), will expand the supervisory and enforcement powers of the MAS under the following acts: Banking Act (BA); Credit Bureau Act; Financial Advisers Act (FAA); Insurance Act (IA); Payment Services Act (PS Act); Securities and Futures Act (SFA); Trust Companies Act (TCA); and the upcoming new omnibus Act (“new Act”) for the financial sector (collectively, “relevant Acts”).

On 22 June 2021, HM Treasury (HMT) confirmed that it will take forward legislation to introduce a gateway for the approval of financial promotions of unauthorised persons. Once the gateway is in place, only firms which have successfully applied to the FCA to approve financial promotions will be permitted to approve the financial promotions of unauthorised persons.