MAS licencing

If you’re looking to be licensed for the first time – or if you need to change your license, or seek permission for a new controlling shareholder – we can help. 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), licences and regulates financial institutions in the fund management, capital markets, banking, insurance and payments sectors (amongst others).

As licensing processes become more demanding, financial institutions must show that they have the systems and controls needed to manage risk.  As well as completing forms, applicants must provide documentation, including a business plan – and the MAS may ask to see your Compliance Manual, or parts of it.  The Regulator will almost always have follow-up questions, and it’s not uncommon to want to meet in person.

Helping you obtain your MAS license

To ensure that your application to become licenced is approved, our in-country experts will provide support to:

  • Determine which regulated activities you need to be licenced for, or in some cases whether a license is even necessary.
  • Prepare your application pack and give guidance on supporting documentation (e.g. transaction flow charts).
  • Help you to deal with queries from the MAS (there are usually several rounds).
  • Provide you with a Compliance Manual, AML Policy and Enterprise Wide Risk Assessment – tailored to your business and which will meet the MAS’ standards.
  • Train Directors and staff so that they understand with their responsibilities and accountabilities under the MAS’ regulatory framework

Guiding you through the licensing process

Generally licencing applications follow the same sequence with applications initially submitted to the MAS using their online portal, using prescribed security protocols.

For a newly incorporated company, capitalisation is usually demonstrated by providing an official ACRA document confirming allotment of ordinary share capital. This is needed at the end of the process, when you receive your in-principle approval. Typically, the stages are:

  • 1. Scoping out the Application  

    Determining which regulated activities are needed to be licensed and understanding required documentation and evidence to support the application.

  • 2. Initial information request

    Relating to the proposed business activities, the group structure, and details pertaining to key individuals.

  • 3. Application completion and QA

    Once the application is completed based on the information you have provided, the pack will be quality assured and signed off by either a Bovill Practice Lead or a Partner. Completion of the application pack will be finalised, with any final points clarified or further information requested. This is often an iterative process.

  • 4. Sign-off and submission

    A final opportunity to review and approve the entire application pack before adding your signatures to forms.

  • 5. Allocation to case officer and queries 

    The individual at the MAS who is responsible for progressing your application will introduce themselves to you over email. Queries on the application usually follow a few weeks after the case officer has been allocated.

  • 6. Preparing compliance policies

    In the meantime, we will prepare the AML Policy and EWRA (required for PS license application) and Compliance Manual. For CMSL application, these are not required to be submitted with the application pack but may be requested by the case officer at a later point.

  • 7. In-principle approval

    The MAS will issue the in-principle approval, alongside conditions that need to be met before the license will be granted (e.g. Singapore residence of key individuals).

  • 8. License granted 

    The MAS will advise when you have met their conditions and have been granted the license.

Start your journey

Get in touch using the form below and a member of the team will get back you as soon as possible.

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