The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed stringent regulations on remittance companies, mandating a suspension of money transfers through non-bank and non-card channels to China for three months.
This directive, starting 1 January 2024 and lasting until 31 March 2024, aims to address the issue of Chinese authorities freezing workers’ remittances.
Following over 670 reports received by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) involving approximately S$13 million (US$9.8 million) in frozen funds, MAS has specified that remittance companies must utilize either a bank or a card network, such as Union Pay, for cross-border services.
Notably, about 430 reports implicated Samlit Moneychanger in these incidents.
MAS’s decision is a response to numerous complaints by Chinese nationals in Singapore, whose remittances have been held up in China. The restriction will be reviewed after the three-month period.
This move diverges from the common practice where remittance companies engage overseas third-party agents to keep costs low, a method that has successfully completed most transfers but recently faced issues with a small proportion of remittances being frozen by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) law enforcement agencies.
The exact reasons for the freezing of funds remain unclear. Nonetheless, MAS asserts that this suspension is crucial for consumer protection and curbing the increase in cases of frozen beneficiary accounts in China.
The Singapore government, although lacking jurisdiction over these accounts, is said to be actively working to minimize risks for consumers.
This situation first gained public attention through a report by Lianhe Zaobao, revealing that around 1,000 Chinese nationals were affected, with over 100 lodging police reports on 19 November.
MAS and SPF, along with representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Singapore and several remittance companies, conducted an outreach session for those impacted, primarily Chinese nationals working in Singapore.
The Singaporean and Chinese authorities are collaboratively addressing this issue.
Singapore’s Foreign Ministry and its embassy in Beijing have engaged their Chinese counterparts, emphasizing the impact on Singaporean remitters and seeking guidance for unfreezing the accounts.
MAS has instructed involved remittance companies to assist affected customers, including providing confirmation letters to support the unfreezing process in China.
The Singapore government has shared that it is in close contact with the Chinese government regarding the necessary information for this procedure.
MAS and SPF have urged affected individuals to cooperate fully with the legal requirements to expedite the resolution.
They also warned against any unlawful activities, such as unauthorized public assemblies in Singapore.
MAS noted that it will continue to monitor the situation and may extend or terminate the suspension after 31 March 2024, based on the evolving circumstances.
Sylvia Lim refutes PAP MP’s claims over her speech on supporting young senior
Asia Centre hosts regional meeting on digital rights
Airbus issues apology after Chinese & Russian visitors allegedly denied entry from military plane at Singapore Airshow
Hamas extends condolences for tragic self-immolation of US Airman Aaron Bushnell
Dennis Tan: Advocating senior support, disabilities, and green transition in Budget 2024
South Africa faces escalating rhino poaching despite conservation efforts
Halimah Yacob speaks out on Gaza crisis: ‘Degradation of the human soul’
Love Aid Singapore donates US$20,000 to support Gaza orphans
WP MPs challenge Murali Pillai on government transparency regarding reserves
ICA to maintain dedicated lanes for Singaporeans and permanent residents
South Korea gives protesting doctors 29 Feb return deadline
Maid probed over alleged fatal abuse of employer’s dog; SPCA deems actions “brutal” and “appalling”
Politics5 days ago
Leong Mun Wai steps down as PSP Secretary-General over POFMA directive received
Singapore4 days ago
Gilbert Goh challenges MOE on Israel-Hamas classroom narrative
Featured2 weeks ago
PA surveys community & govt confidence amid pending general election
Comments2 weeks ago
PAP Marcus Loh accuses WP’s MP of alleged dishonesty on debate about reserves
Civil Society2 weeks ago
Singaporeans stand firm in support for Palestine amidst police scrutiny
Singapore1 week ago
Kenneth Jeyaretnam issued 6th POFMA direction over Ridout Road saga
Civil Society2 weeks ago
At least 9 individuals summoned by police over Palestine solidarity activities on 2 Feb
Politics1 week ago
Lim Tean mocks DPM Wong’s 2024 Budget as “band-aid”, hints election coming