eOASIS is Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP's legal information website for clients, containing business and legal information prepared from a practitioner's viewpoint. It has four different modules, updated regularly, and materials range from commentaries on the latest legal developments to key legal and business information.

What's new on eOASIS

MAS Green and Sustainability-Linked Loan Grant Scheme for Corporates and Banks Available from 1 January 2021
With effect from 1 January 2021, corporates which plan to obtain green and sustainable financing may apply under the Green and Sustainability-Linked Loan Grant Scheme ("GSLS") for a grant to defray the expenses of engaging independent service providers to validate the green and sustainability credentials of the loan. In addition, banks which plan to develop green and sustainability-linked loan frameworks may apply under the GSLS for co-funding of specified expenses of such frameworks.

Launched on 24 November 2020, the GSLS is the first of its kind globally that seeks to support the aim of the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") to develop green and sustainable financial markets and products to aid Asia's transition to a low-carbon future.

This Update provides a summary of the key features and eligibility criteria for the GSLS, one of the initiatives under the MAS' Green Finance Action Plan. 

MAS Consults on Stricter Requirements to Improve Identity Verification for Non-Face-to-Face Contact for Financial Institutions
The Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") is seeking feedback on proposed requirements to strengthen identity verification for non-face-to-face contact situations for banks, insurers and other financial institutions (collectively, "FIs"). MAS' proposals are set out in its consultation paper on "Notice on Identity Verification" issued on 10 November 2020. Feedback on the consultation paper must be submitted to MAS by 11.59 pm, 9 December 2020.

To address the risks of theft and misuse of an individual's personal particulars and combat the rise of impersonation scam cases, MAS proposes to make it compulsory for FIs to augment the types of information they obtain for the purpose of verifying an individual's identity in non-face-to-face situations. FIs are not permitted to solely rely on information such as NRIC number, residential address and date of birth which are commonly given out by individuals for identity verification purposes.

This Update provides a summary of the proposed enhanced identity verification requirements. 

2020 was meant to be an exciting year, with new challenges and growth. Challenges did face us, but in the strangest of ways, and seem to continue with no immediate end in sight. Amidst the challenges, competition and consumer protection regulators across the region remained active, and hence, we have a meaty year-end issue of Competition Bites for 2020.

The focus for this issue is the publication of the findings and recommendations from the E-commerce Platforms Market Study conducted by the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore. Other snippets include the active merger control enforcement in Indonesia and Vietnam, the finalisation of Malaysia’s market review of the retail and wholesale service sector, and the coming into effect of new market dominance thresholds in Thailand. Separately, the Thailand competition authority has published for public consultation new guidelines on unfair trade practices in the online food delivery services.  

Commentary: China Unveils Draft Personal Information Protection Law for Public Consultation
On 21 October 2020, the People’s Republic of China ("PRC") unveiled its highly anticipated draft personal information protection law (中华人民共和国个人信息保护法(草案)) ("Draft PIPL") for public consultation. The Draft PIPL consists of 70 articles divided into 8 Chapters. As the first comprehensive piece of legislation addressing personal information protection in the PRC, the Draft PIPL will have a significant impact on not just organisations conducting businesses within the PRC, but also those operating overseas. This update will examine some of the key highlights of the Draft PIPL.  

Signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement by 15 Asia-Pacific Countries
On 15 November 2020, the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ("ASEAN") – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam – in conjunction with Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand, signed the world's largest free trade agreement to date, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership ("RCEP") Agreement.

Representing the culmination of eight years of negotiations, the RCEP builds on existing bilateral FTAs among the 15 RCEP Participating Countries ("RPCs"). Together, the RPCs account for about 30% of global gross domestic product and close to a third of the world's population. It signals the RPCs' strong commitment to maintaining open and connected supply chains; broadens individual RPCs' economic linkages and connectivity with the region; and gives them preferential access to the region's growing markets.

We provide an overview of the features of the RCEP below, which improves on the existing ASEAN Plus One agreement in four key areas:

  1. comprehensive trade facilitation measures;
  2. improved market access for Trade in Services;
  3. enhanced investment rules and disciplines; and
  4. expanded scope and commitments.

Amendments to Payment Services Act 2019 Tabled in Parliament to Enhance Regulation of DPT Service Providers and Address ML/TF Risks
On 2 November 2020, the Payment Services (Amendment) Bill ("Bill") was tabled in Parliament for first reading. The Bill seeks to amend the Payment Services Act 2019 ("PS Act") for the following main purposes:

  1. broadening the definition of digital payment token ("DPT") service to align with enhanced regulation standards adopted by the Financial Action Task Force in regulating virtual asset service providers on anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing;
  2. widening the definition of "cross-border money transfer service" to mitigate money laundering/terrorist financing risks from certain cross-border business models; and
  3. expanding the powers of the Monetary Authority of Singapore to impose additional measures on DPT service providers.
The Bill has yet to be passed and is not in force yet.

This Update provides an overview of the key amendments to the PS Act and briefly addresses other amendments. 

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