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Singapore banks eye new data sharing system in fight against money laundering

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Singapore banks eye new data sharing system in fight against money laundering

DBS Group HoldingsLtd., Oversea-ChineseBanking Corp. Ltd. and UnitedOverseas Bank Ltd. are studying plans for a new system that will allowthe banks to share data on prospective clients as part of efforts against moneylaundering, Bloomberg News reported May 6, citing "people familiar with thematter."

The new model will involve a registry system that will allowthe banks to pool and share data on potential clients. The information will thenbe used in approving or denying a client in opening an account.

There is currently no timeline for when the registry will beset up, but it is expected that such a practice will first be used on corporateaccounts. If successful, the project may also be expanded to involve other internationalbanks in the city-state.

Loretta Yuen, head of legal and regulatory compliance at OCBC,confirmed that the three banks are in talks regarding the project but noted thatit is still premature to discuss details of the initiative. A DBS spokesman confirmedthe bank's involvement in the plan but declined to provide more comments, whileUnited Overseas Bank did not immediately respond for comments.

The news came as Singapore froze bank accounts as of an investigation into 1Malaysia Development Bhd. over allegedillegal money transfers.