ACRA Revokes Registration of Filing Agent and Qualified Individual Due to AML/CFT Violations

  • February 07, 2024

ACRA Cancels Registration of Filing Agent and Qualified Individual for AML/CFT Breaches

  1. On January 19, 2024, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) revoked the registrations of the filing agent (RFA) LW Business Consultancy Pte Ltd (LWBC) and the qualified individual (RQI) Wang Junjie (Wang). This action was taken on January 18, 2024, due to violations of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls outlined in the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations 2015 (referred to as the “ACRA Regulations”).
  2. LWBC committed the following AML/CFT breaches:

– Onboarding clients by non-face-to-face means without performing additional customer due diligence checks.
– failure to perform risk assessment and check if there are any beneficial owners from some of their clients.

3. In addition to the breaches laid out above, the RQI failed to supervise his employees, which resulted in the breaches. Hence, ACRA determines that the RQI is no longer meeting the fit and proper criteria, thus he is de-registered as an RQI.

4. This is part of an investigation into one of Singapore’s largest AML operations. More details are unavailable as the investigation is still ongoing.

Obligations of RQIs and RFAs
5. RQIs and RFAs play an important role in combating the proliferation of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism. RQIs and RFAs provide corporate secretarial services for businesses and companies with company incorporation, Annual Return filing, and other compliance activities stipulated in the Companies Act 1967 and other Acts. Thus, it is important for RQIs and RFAs to perform customer due diligence and be fit and proper in the first place.

6. Breaching the obligations may result in monetary penalties of up to $25,000 per breach or having the registration canceled. In addition, ACRA has planned additional measures such as increasing the penalties after consulting with the public earlier. ACRA is working with the Ministry of Finance to propose the above measures to the Parliament in the next few months.

7. ACRA takes a serious view in any breaches to the regulation of Anti Money Laundering and Countering of Financing of Terrorism. ACRA has already cancelled or suspended 17 RQIs and RFAs from 2021 to 2023.

8. Anyone who suspects that an RFA or RQI has breached the regulation is encouraged to report such to ACRA.

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