30 November 2021

HSBC co-develops new digital platform with MAS to combat financial crime

Named COSMIC, the platform aims to prevent money laundering and financing of criminal activity.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), along with HSBC and other major commercial banks in Singapore, announced on 1 October 2021 that it would introduce a digital platform for financial institutions (FIs) to share with one another relevant information on customers and transactions to prevent money laundering and financing of criminal activity.

The new digital platform, named COSMIC, for “Collaborative Sharing of ML/TF Information & Cases”, will enable HSBC and other FIs to securely share information on customers or transactions, where they cross material risk thresholds.

Co-created by MAS and other banks in Singpore, the platform operated will have strong security features to prevent unauthorised access to information. MAS will provide in legislation that this information sharing is permitted only for the purpose of combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing (PF) [1]. COSMIC participants will also be required to implement robust measures to safeguard against authorised use and disclosure of COSMIC information.

Jamil Ahmed, Chief Compliance Officer, HSBC Singapore, said: “Since 2015, HSBC has made significant investments in new and upgraded systems to help detect, analyse, and mitigate financial crime. COSMIC will allow us to further build on our existing capabilities to do so. With a network spanning 67 countries and territories, we already have in place safeguards to ensure that any information shared across borders is done so securely and in accordance with our data sharing processes and prevailing regulatory requirements. HSBC is pleased to have co-created COSMIC and look forward to our continued collaboration with MAS and fellow participating banks to bolster our defences against financial crime.”

MAS plans to launch the COSMIC platform in the first half of 2023. HSBC, along with the other five banks involved in COSMIC’s development will participate and be permitted to share information in COSMIC during this initial phase.

While COSMIC will initially focus on three key financial crime risks in commercial banking, namely, abuse of shell companies, misuse of trade finance for illicit purposes, and PF, MAS plans to progressively extend COSMIC’s coverage to more FIs and focus areas and make some aspects of sharing mandatory.

Following a month-long public consultation period which concluded on 1 Nov, MAS looks to further refine the proposed legislative framework for COSMIC as well as the platform’s features.

Media enquiries to:
Denise Kok | denise.h.f.kok@hsbc.com.sg | +65 6658 5824

About HSBC Singapore

HSBC Group’s history in Singapore dates back to 1877 when its founding member, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, opened its first branch on the island. A qualifying full bank, HSBC in Singapore offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial services including retail banking and wealth management; commercial, investment and private banking; insurance; forfaiting and trustee services; securities and capital markets services. One of the earliest banks to establish in Singapore, HSBC today is a prominent player in Singapore’s financial services sector serving the banking needs of multi-national corporations, home-grown businesses, private banking clients, institutional and retail customers. In May 2016, HSBC locally incorporated its retail banking and wealth management business in Singapore and established, HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited. HSBC Singapore has a retail network of nine dedicated HSBC Premier Centres and two HSBC Jade Centres including an International Wealth Hub as well as many locations across the island providing self-service terminals.

About The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the founding member of the HSBC Group. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of $2,969bn at 30 September 2021, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.