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MAS shelves information sharing project

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has put on hold a plan for banks to share information on their corporate clients. Perhaps it felt the cost of the project exceeded expectations. MAS MD Ravi Menon said MAS will not be able to meet its original target of having a ‘know-your-customer utility’ up and running as soon as this year. The KYC utility is supposed to make it faster and cheaper for banks to open accounts – a process that has become increasingly expensive and burdensome – and to improve their ability to detect money launderers and other blacklisted entities. Menon said the stumbling block turned out to be that the setup cost of this utility exceeded the savings that the banks would be able to get. Menon added that MAS and the participating banks are reviewing the design of the KYC utility after shelving an arrangement with Thomson Reuters’ financial and risk arm, Refinitiv, which was one of the firms working on the project.

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