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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force will jointly investigate market misconduct offences such as insider trading and market manipulation under Part XII of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) with effect from today. This arrangement will enhance the enforcement process as both agencies will collaborate from the outset, bringing about greater efficiency.
MAS and CAD have been investigating market misconduct offences independently, based on an initial assessment of whether the offence is likely to be a civil penalty or criminal prosecution case.
In 2013, Singapore censured 133 traders for manipulating financial benchmarks, prior to the global action taken against six Western banks by the US, British and Swiss regulators which culminated in November 2014.
With joint investigations, MAS and CAD will now jointly investigate all potential market misconduct offences from the outset. The decision on whether a case is subject to civil penalty action or criminal prosecution will be made when investigations are concluded.
Under the new arrangement, MAS and CAD will consolidate their investigative resources and expertise, drawing significant synergies from MAS’ role as a financial regulator and CAD’s financial crime investigation and intelligence capabilities. The new arrangement also allows for greater coordination when formulating enforcement policies in the area of market misconduct.
The arrangement will also improve the overall effectiveness of market misconduct investigations. MAS officers taking part in the joint investigations are gazetted as Commercial Affairs Officers, giving them the same criminal powers of investigation as CAD officers. Such powers include the ability to search premises and seize items, and to order financial institutions to monitor customer accounts.
Mr Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director of Capital Markets, MAS and Mr Tan Boon Gin, Director CAD affirmed the joint investigation arrangement as an important refinement to the market misconduct enforcement regime, leveraging on MAS’ insights in supervising the financial sector and CAD’s experience in combating financial crime. The new arrangement would deliver more effective enforcement outcomes that would further strengthen public trust and confidence in Singapore’s capital markets.
For the official announcement from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, click here.