The Southeast Asian city-state has grown into the world's fourth- biggest offshore financial center but, with U.S. and European regulators on the hunt for tax cheats, the government is clamping
down to forestall the kind of onslaught from foreign authorities that
is now hitting Switzerland's banks.
The tighter rules are intended to fall in line with new global standards announced last year that treat tax crimes as a money-laundering offence.
Bankers may now feel compelled to give up some of the lucrative accounts that have fuelled a boom in Singapore's assets under management to more than $1 trillion, with 50 percent growth in the five years to 2011, according to the latest government data.
While banks do not have to check that their clients are fully compliant with all their tax obligations, they must check if there are reasons to suspect the accounts contain the proceeds of serious tax offences such as fraudulent or wilful tax evasion.
New foreign clients may find that banks become far more picky and inquisitive as the change in mindset takes hold.
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Read more at: Tax Times blog