Singapore’s financial regulator has barred DBS Bank from acquiring new business ventures for six months or reducing the size of its branch and ATM networks in the country after the repeated and prolonged disruptions of DBS’ digital banking services this year.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has also imposed a six-month pause on the bank’s non-essential IT changes.
This is done to ensure that the bank keeps sharp focus on restoring the resilience of its digital banking services, the regulator said.
This comes after MAS in April directed DBS Bank to engage an independent third party to conduct a comprehensive review of the effectiveness and adequacy of the people, processes, and technology supporting its digital banking services.
“Following the independent review, DBS Bank has set out a technology resiliency roadmap to address the shortcomings, improve system resilience, and better position the bank to meet future digital banking needs. The roadmap is being implemented in phases, with the changes affecting its system architecture design taking more time to complete,” MAS announced in a press release on Wednesday.
MAS said it has reviewed DBS Bank’s remediation plan under the roadmap and is satisfied with its scope and the planned measures to improve system resilience. The bank will hold senior management accountable for the lapses and the board will enhance its governance approach to oversee implementation of the roadmap, it said.
MAS has directed DBS Bank to suspend all changes to the bank’s IT systems except for those related to security, regulatory compliance and risk management for a six-month period.
“This is to ensure that the bank dedicates the needed resources and attention to strengthen its technology risk management systems and controls,” it said.
MAS will not approve any new business acquisitions by the bank during this period.
“DBS must put in place immediate measures to ensure service reliability while it continues to invest in the longer-term efforts to bolster its operational resilience. We have imposed this six-month pause on the bank to give it the space to take the actions needed to maintain customer trust,” Ho Hern Shin, deputy managing director (financial supervision), MAS, said.
DBS’ digital banking services were disrupted a few times over the last year, most recently on 14 October.
MAS said DBS will take up to 24 months to put in place the planned structural changes to improve the resilience of its digital banking services.
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