Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Singapore to stop issuing $1,000 notes over money laundering concerns

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will stop issuing the $1,000 note from January next year, to minimise the money laundering and terrorism financing risks associated with such a large denomination.

From now till January, the MAS will also limit the quantity of $1,000 notes issued each month, although banks can continue recirculating the existing $1,000 notes that have been deposited with them, it said in a statement on Tuesday (Nov 3).

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It added that it will “make available sufficient quantities of other denominations” to meet demand, in particular the $100 note, which is the next highest denomination after the $1,000 note.

Existing $1,000 notes in circulation can continue to be used for payment, and remain legal tender.

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In its statement, the agency also encouraged the public to use electronic payments instead of large denominations, which it said allows individuals to anonymously carry large sums of money, and can thus facilitate illicit activities like money laundering.

The agency noted that most major jurisdictions have stopped issuing large denomination notes because of money laundering and terrorism financing concerns.

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