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Recent changes to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Notice 610/1003 have ushered in a new era of regulatory reporting for financial institutions.
The revised MAS 610/1003 is in line with MAS's objectives to collect data in machine-readable format and to reduce duplicate data submissions by financial institutions.
In essence, the revisions are extensive, requiring a significant increase in the number of data points and more granular data of banks' assets and liabilities to be collected. As a whole, banks need to clearly demonstrate that they have complied with the MAS revisions by 1 October 2020.
For some banks, it is a complete overhaul of their compliance processes. For the more prepared, the changes present an opportunity to more strategically put in place new regulatory platforms to enhance their current governance framework and reporting infrastructure. Whichever end banks fall into, the changes call for expertise and discipline in implementing the changes in a cost-efficient and timely manner.
In the recent Singapore Budget 2018, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced a slew of measures relevant to the financial services industry.
In the funds management and investment space, the introduction of a new tax framework for the Singapore Variable Capital Company (S-VACC) structure and the extension of the Enhanced Tier Fund Scheme (Section 13X) to all fund vehicles, position Singapore as an attractive location for funds to be domiciled. For the bonds market, we saw an extension of the tax exemption on income derived by primary dealers from trading in Singapore Government Securities (SGS) designed to ensure liquidity in the bonds market until 31 December 2023. Schemes such as the Qualifying Debt Securities and the Financial Sector Incentive schemes have also been extended in line with the changes in the accounting framework.
These changes are broad, inclusive and innovative, demonstrating the government’s intent to maintain the robustness and stability of the financial services industry, as well as retain Singapore’s competitiveness as a leading global financial hub.