Financial Services Briefings 

KPMG's Financial Services Briefings is a quarterly newsletter discussing topical issues, changes and updates of interest to institutions in the financial services sector.
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  • Issue 17 | November 2015 (PDF, 4.21KB)
    Outsourcing has become a critical component of financial institutions’ management of their business operations and control of their costs.

    Many business owners shy away from outsourcing but countless others depend on it. Regardless of which view you take, it is important to know that outsourcing is here to stay. Outsourcing promotes consistency, allows the FI to focus on strategic tasks and may introduce cost savings.

    If there is one rule about outsourcing, it is that you should not outsource and forget. Financial Institutions (FIs) should outsource, review and monitor; and work with your outsource provider as a partner, exploring what is needed to be more successful.

    In September 2014, the Monetary Authority of Singapore issued consultation papers on outsourcing requirements to ensure that FIs have sound risk management practices for outsourcing arrangements. This set of guidelines should also enhance the service levels to be provided by the service providers.

  • Issue 16 | July 2015 (PDF, 2.76MB)
    A recent KPMG Global Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Survey found that 88 percent of respondents indicated that AML is a priority for senior management, up from 62 percent in 2011.

    In fact, AML compliance has never been higher on the agenda of senior management. Financial institutions are making significant changes in response to regulatory action and increasingly far-reaching global AML regulations, changing the AML setups from a standalone function under compliance, to an increasingly complex and overarching function cutting across legal, risk, operations and tax.

    In April 2015, the Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that it would progressively increase the level of disclosure on supervisory actions taken for breaches of AML/CFT regulations. This is a positive move in the spirit of raising awareness about money laundering, and what needs to be done to combat it.

    For these changes to be effective, it is important for a culture of compliance to be established throughout the organisation. Driving culture effectively and successfully hinges on leadership and the right tone from the top.

  • 2014
  • Issue 15 | November 2014 (PDF, 973KB)
    The accounting for financial instruments is changing.

    In July 2014, the International Accounting Standards Board issued the completed version of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments which will replace IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement. IFRS 9 (2014) provides revised guidance on the classification and measurement of financial assets, an expected credit loss model for calculating impairment and the general hedge accounting requirements.

    In Singapore, the Accounting Standards Council is expected to adopt the final version of IFRS 9 without modification effective from 1 January 2018.

    In this issue, we offer our thoughts on the impact and implications of the finalised standard to financial institutions.

  • Issue 14 | July 2014 (PDF, 945KB)
    How has the role of the CFO evolved in the past decade?

    As the role of finance functions is being redefined, CFOs are challenged to change their traditional finance processes and operational support models in an effort to deliver faster, more accurate and insightful analysis and reporting – while at the same time managing risks and reducing costs.

    A recent KPMG survey found that Singapore based CFOs in the Financial Services sector seem to be moving at a slower pace in gearing their finance function towards a greater strategic role, compared to their peers in Europe and the US. This may be due to how they tend to regard their finance department more as an operational back-office function rather than a strategic value-driver.

    The intelligent finance organisation of today and indeed the future must go beyond its business-as-usual financial operations, reporting and control roles to become a value-adding provider of intelligence that the Board and business units can depend on to make strategic business decisions.

  • Issue 13 | April 2014 (PDF, 2.71MB)
    Many think that cyber attacks will never happen to their organisation.

    Truth is there are almost daily occurrences of cyber attacks from individual, opportunistic hackers, to professional and organised groups with strategies to systematically steal intellectual property and disrupting businesses. The risk posed by cyber attacks is ever present, compounded by the fact that dealing with cyber threats is a complex challenge.

    Read on to find out why large global organisations should move from a reactive to proactive operating mode in dealing with cyber threats. This calls for transformative change.

  • Issue 12 | January 2014 (PDF, 978KB)
    With the emergence and positioning of Singapore as a global financial hub, its financial services industry has experienced rapid changes to the way it conducts business and manages systems & operations.

    To ensure sound technology risk management and information security practices, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has recently issued an updated guidance to financial institutions to address existing and emerging technology risks within the financial services industry.

  • 2013