Letter: MAS can do more when renewing bank licences

by Gilbert Tan

It is most disappointing to note that our local and foreign domiciled banks continue to have outages in their computer systems regularly or almost on a fortnightly basis.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) should disallow our local and foreign-domiciled banks to appoint or engage contractors to do their backend work.

While it may be cost effective to contract or engage remote systems in far away places to carry out the backend processing work, how do DBS and Citibank ensure the integrity of our local ATMs and online services?

How are these contractors supervised?

Do you have a locally appointed personnel or team of professionals supervising the work of the contractors or are they left alone with all our confidential data including the more sensitive records of our political leaders?

Remote systems located in foreign countries are also subject to foreign political and third-party rules and regulations which may be alien to us.

It is time for MAS to disallow such practices when renewing their banking licenses. If at all allowed, these backend systems should sit in our own backyard.

If it is extraneously to do so, then the system should reside in a locally-owned building or site adequately protected and safeguarded from outside influence or interference.

MAS seems to resort to imposing supervisory actions on the banks but are these actions effective since there were a number of outages recently.

Moreover, where did these fines amounting to hundreds of thousand of dollars come from?

When a driver commits a traffic violation, he pays it out of his own pocket, not his employer’s pocket, even for a vocational driver. So, who pays the fines imposed by MAS?

It is morally wrong if shareholders have to bear the brunt of this malfeasance on behalf of bank officials.

The letter above was submitted by a reader via our submission form and reflects the individual’s views. It does not necessarily represent the position of Gutzy’s editorial team.

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