The Monetary Authority of Singapore wishes to arrogate to itself a power that other regulators - such as the British Financial Services/Conduct Authority - have long had: to ban people from the financial sector.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore wishes to arrogate to itself a power that other regulators - such as the British Financial Services/Conduct Authority - have long had: to ban people from the financial sector. The MAS has the power to issue prohibition orders to prevent unsuitable persons from engaging in capital markets, financial advisory and insurance intermediation activities, but does not have similar powers for banking business.
To remedy this in the name of fitness and propriety, it wants the power to ban anyone it chooses from "taking part, directly or indirectly, in the management of, acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder of a bank for such period as MAS may specify."
It states, in words that seem to take the creation of its new power for granted, that it will not
make any prohibition order against a person without giving him an opportunity to be heard. It says that it will notify every target of its intention to make the order and listen to his representations, to which it "will give due consideration...before making the final decision."
Singapore's central bank also wants to ban unfit and improper persons from working directly or indirectly for banks pre-emptively. The example it gives is of a person operating fraudulent schemes flagged in its 'investor alert' list, especially if he tries to join a bank after the Commercial Affairs Department has shut the schemes down.
The MAS goes on in its consultation paper on the subject to say that even after the issuance of an order, the prohibited party will have 30 days to appeal to the minister, although the views of this person are unlikely to diverge wildly from those of the regulators. Any breach of such a PO will be an offence punishable, in relation to an individual, by a fine not exceeding $125,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or both, and, in relation to a corporation, a fine of up to $250,000.
The language of the consultation paper is so declaratory and final that it is difficult to see how one can harbour any doubts at all about the MAS's impending empowerment.