MAS' speech on the Future of Anti-Money Laundering with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

August 2021

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) has published a speech delivered by its Assistant Managing Director of Policy, Payments & Financial Crime at the Wealth Management Institute (“WMI”) Industry Forum on the Future of Anti-Money Laundering with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning on 5 August 2021.

The MAS is keen to have financial institutions (“FIs”) adopt data analytics in a manner that is commensurate with the risk profile of the business, to fight against money laundering. 

We have set out below a summary of the data analytics elements that may be mobilized at customer, network and system levels:

  1. At the customer level, FIs are encouraged to enhance know your customer processes by proactively detecting and assessing changes in customers’ risk profile. This involves a shift from periodic, cycle-based customer risk assessments which rely on ‘static’ risk indicators to a more dynamic approach where FIs integrate and analyse changes in customers’ behavioural, transactional and profile data holistically and on a more ‘real-time’ basis. 
  2. At the network level, FIs should adopt a more holistic view of customers’ behaviours and activities so as to identify and disrupt illicit fund flows between customers. This involves the application of network link analysis to detect and visualise connections among customers and their transaction flows so as to uncover unusual links and transaction flows and concealment of true beneficial owners. Furthermore, FIs may use network risk-scoring and centrality analysis to prioritise higher risk networks for review.
  3. At the system level, FIs may amplify the effectiveness of data analytics through close collaboration between the public and private sectors, as well as within the industry. In this regard, the WMI and Nanyang Technological University have embarked on pioneering research to enable secure, privacy-protected sharing of intelligence across FIs. The MAS is also collaborating with the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force and a number of major banks to develop a technology enabled platform for participants to share information on customers exhibiting significant risk red flags and warn each other of potential criminal activity. The MAS is finalising the details of the platform and will be sharing them soon.