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Practical Tips for Compliance with Singapore’s IAC Guidelines

Shuhui Kwok at Allen & Overy provides practical tips for FIs to consider when assessing the IAC Guidelines, their application and implementation.

Following two years of continuous consultation and thematic inspections on banks and their incentive structures, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) released its finalised Guidelines on Individual Accountability and Conduct (the Guidelines) on 10 September 2020.

Effective from 10 September 2021, the Guidelines set out the MAS’ general principles and expectations relating to individual accountability and conduct, and in particular require financial institutions (FIs) to achieve five key outcomes in respect of senior management, material risk personnel and governance and conduct frameworks.

While the Guidelines are consonant with regimes already in place in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia and should be of little surprise to industry participants, they nevertheless have far reaching implications on how FIs (big and small alike) will operate in Singapore.

The full year given to FIs to prepare for the implementation of the Guidelines provides scant comfort to those who have previously been involved in projects of this nature and scale. This article seeks to provide some practical tips for FIs to consider when assessing the Guidelines and their application.

First step – assess whether the Guidelines apply to your organisation

The most obvious starting point for most FIs will be to consider whether the Guidelines apply to them, and the extent to which they apply. As a general rule, most FIs regulated by the MAS will need to implement the Guidelines with the exception of certain financial and corporate finance advisers operating on limited exemptions, as well as recognised market operators and clearing houses incorporated in Singapore.

The Guidelines also distinguish between FIs with a headcount of 50 or more persons and those with less than 50, as the former will need to comply with both the outcomes and the specific guidance proposed by the MAS in the Guidelines. Locally incorporated banks and insurers will have to comply with the Guidelines on a group basis.


Article written by Shuhui Kwok, Allen & Overy for Regulation Asia

Read the full article here


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