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[January 09, 2014]
BNM: Money services sector needs code of conduct [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) KUALA LUMPUR: BANK Negara Malaysia (BNM) expects players in the money services industry - involving those in money-changing, remittances and wholesale currency business - to draw up and implement a code of conduct this year.
BNM deputy governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said the code of conduct should guide proper business practices and help the authorities combat illicit transfers of funds and unauthorised activities.
Speaking at the launch of the Malaysian Association of Money Services Business (MAMSB), here, yesterday, he said the organisation should modernise and improve the image of the industry and instill professionalism and "weed out the black sheep".
"It should consider implementing a certification or qualification process, for example, by conducting entrance examinations for its members sometime in the future.
"By doing so, individuals responsible for managing money services business operations are able to offer quality services to the public.
The new legislation framework through the Money Services Business Act 2011, he said, has brought significant and encouraging changes in the industry.
He reminded that the sanctity of the financial system is of utmost importance as it is the pillar for the economy.
"Enforcing compliance is part of the effort to counter money laundering and terrorism financing risks.
"Another potential risk is the exploitation of new products and services with the advancements in technology, where the money services business industry might become a target to channel proceeds from illegal business." So far, BNM has taken action against more than 180 entities, which include the revocation of licence, removal of key responsible persons for failing to comply with regulatory requirements.
The Act not only enables better consumer protection and improves business opportunities, but also strengthens safeguard against money laundering and other illegal activities.
The central bank reassessed a total of 839 money changing companies and remittance service providers and issued new licences to those that met the necessary requirements.
The relicensing process reduced 365 licences as a result of revocation, merger, voluntary surrender of licences or industry players themselves decided to convert to be come an agent of a larger entity.
MAMSB new president Ramasamy K. Veeran said the code of conduct is in the final drafting stage and would be ready by the second quarter.
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