Singapore’s central bank is the latest financial institution to take economic measures against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg reported Monday (March 14).
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in response to the war, the Singapore government has imposed financial measures targeted at Russian banks and fundraising for any activity that would benefit the Russian government’s digital payment token service providers.
MAS specifically prohibited any transactions that could assist in getting around the financial sanctions.
“These measures apply to all financial institutions in Singapore, including banks, finance companies, insurers, capital markets intermediaries, securities exchanges, and payment service providers,” MAS said in a statement.
Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told Parliament recently that Russia’s show of force threatens a world order that “would be profoundly inimical to the security and survival of small states,” the news outlet reported.
FIs that violate the regulations face fines of $1 million in Singapore dollars ($733,654).
MAS said its prohibitions on digital payment token transactions are comprehensive and include offering the purchase, sale or exchange of tokens or arranging to finance for deals.
“These sanctions place an added compliance burden on crypto firms in Singapore in the same way they do on other financial institutions,” Hagen Rooke, a partner at law firm Reed Smith LLP in Singapore, told Bloomberg. “The main upshot from a crypto perspective seems to be that Russian entities and individuals can’t resort to crypto transactions to circumvent the Singapore sanctions they are subject to.”
One week ago, American Express joined Visa, Mastercard and PayPal in suspending operations in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
Read more: Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Amex Suspend Russian Operations
American Express cards will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia, the company said Additionally, cards issued locally in Russia by Russian banks would no longer work outside of the country on the American Express global network.