Dear Editor,

We thank Mr Billy Lee for his letter Can remittance companies lend money? (Straits Times online, 18 January 2019). The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been in contact with Mr Lee on his feedback.

Remittance companies are currently licensed under the Money-changing and Remittance Businesses Act (MCRBA). The MCRBA regulates licensees for their money-changing and remittance activities, primarily to mitigate the risks of money-laundering and terrorism financing. In the past year, MAS has been alerted to a remittance licensee offering consumer loans.

It is not the intent of MAS to allow remittance licensees to conduct consumer lending. If licensees wish to do more, they must hold the appropriate licence and be subject to the relevant regulatory measures. We have explained to Mr Lee that when the new Payment Services Bill (PSB) comes into force later this year, licensees under the PSB will be prohibited from conducting consumer lending.

Remittance companies that are currently conducting consumer lending will have to cease such activities by the time they are licensed under the PSB.

Source: Monetary Authority of Singapore