Singapore, May 31 2022 – The Companies Act, the ACRA Act, and a new Corporate Service Providers Bill (CSP Bill) are all being proposed for revision by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). From May 31 to July 19, 2022, interested parties are encouraged to comment on these legislative ideas.
To maintain a competitive and robust corporate regulatory environment, ACRA continuously examines the current laws. The ACRA Act was modified in 2015 to compel filing agents and qualified individuals to register and abide by the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recommendations for the prevention of money laundering, the financing of terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The ideas from ACRA seek to improve the sector’s regulatory framework so that:
Enhance Singapore’s adherence to the FATF guidelines and uphold Singapore’s standing as a reliable financial center; and
Address the dangers posed by the incorrect use of nominee arrangements in the formation of shell corporations to aid in money laundering and mandate that anyone is acting as a nominee director be a qualified person.
Adopt a new CSP Bill mandating all organizations or individuals offering corporate secretarial services in and from Singapore to register as CSPs with ACRA, regardless of whether they require ACRA’s services for any transactions;
Increase the financial penalties that RFAs, CSPs, and RQIs (1) are subject to for violating the terms and conditions of their registration, and add a fine (2) for AML/CFT violations that are committed with the knowledge of or through neglect by, people like directors, owners, or partners of CSPs;
Introduce a requirement that, if CSPs hold more nominee directorships by way of their businesses than is legally permitted (unless they are qualified individuals), they must guarantee that they are fit and suitable and comply with the training requirements.
Create a new condition that requires nominee directors and shareholders to tell ACRA of their nominee status and the name of their nominator, as well as a requirement that ACRA keeps this information on file. These directors’ and shareholders’ nominee statuses will be made public.
Please refer to Annexe A for a complete list of suggestions and their specifics.
The public has access to the consultation documents on the REACH consultation portal and the ACRA website. Public comment submissions should be made through email to ACRA Public Consultation@acra.gov.sg with the subject line “Public Consultation on CSP Bill” and using the feedback template found in Annex B.
ACRA will release an overview of the remarks received. The summary will not reveal the identities of the responders, nor will it address or explicitly acknowledge each comment made.
Annex B: Feedback template (PDF, 186KB)
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