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MAS imposes 6-month freeze on DBS Bank’s IT changes due to repeated disruptions

MAS freezes DBS Bank’s IT changes for six months due to service disruptions, prioritizing digital banking resilience.”



SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has taken significant actions against DBS Bank Ltd (DBS Bank) in response to repeated and prolonged disruptions in its digital banking services this year.

To bolster the resilience of DBS Bank’s digital banking services, MAS released a statement on Wednesday (1 November) announcing a six-month moratorium on non-essential IT changes imposed on the bank.

This suspension includes restrictions on acquiring new business ventures and reducing the size of branch and ATM networks within Singapore.

These measures were initiated following a directive issued by MAS in April 2023, instructing DBS Bank to undergo an independent third-party review of its digital banking services.

The review identified shortcomings in areas such as system resilience, incident management, change management, and technology risk governance.

Subsequently, DBS Bank outlined a technology resiliency roadmap to address these deficiencies.

This roadmap is being implemented in phases, with a focus on improving system resilience. MAS said that it has reviewed and approved the scope and planned measures of this remediation plan.

Crucially, MAS has directed DBS Bank to suspend all changes to its IT systems, except for those related to security, regulatory compliance, and risk management, for the next six months.

This is to ensure that the bank dedicates its resources to strengthening technology risk management.

In addition to the IT changes freeze, MAS has instructed DBS Bank not to decrease the size of its branch and ATM networks to ensure customers have alternative channels during disruptions.

These directions will remain in effect until MAS is satisfied with the progress of the bank’s remediation plan.

This action comes in the wake of a significant service disruption at DBS on 14 October, during which online banking and payment services encountered substantial outages. Customers also encountered challenges in withdrawing cash from ATMs.

On 20 October, there was a brief disruption to its services which was due to a cooling issue at a data centre which implicated various other companies.

MAS Deputy Managing Director, Ms Ho Hern Shin, emphasized the importance of DBS Bank’s commitment to improving service reliability.

She stated, “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.”

The timeline for DBS Bank to implement structural changes aimed at improving the resilience of its digital banking services is estimated to be up to 24 months.

During this period, MAS expects the bank to promptly recover its services and communicate clearly with customers in the event of disruptions.

MAS will review the progress made by DBS Bank in its remediation efforts at the end of the six-month pause and may take further actions or extend the measures as necessary.

Series of service disruptions plague DBS Bank, prompting MAS action

Previously, the bank faced a significant 6½-hour service interruption on 5 May due to human error, and a prolonged 12-hour disruption in March attributed to software bugs.

Singapore’s President, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in his former capacity as the Chairman of MAS, had addressed similar system resilience concerns in April and July this year over the past two disruptions experienced by DBS.

He emphasized that DBS had embarked on strategic enhancements to its digital banking system, underscoring the importance of robust access control, system redundancy, comprehensive monitoring, and efficient restoration processes.

However, despite these assurances, the recent incident underscores persistent gaps in the banks’ digital resilience strategies, raising questions about the efficacy of redundancy systems and preventative measures.

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MAS is a (DBS) party pooper. Piyush had been gearing up to have a celebratory year end blowout party as he had been “optimistic” about 2023 🙂 And now, he has to scale back. But at least his bonus is still intact.

I won’t be surprised MAS also got CECA inside. Please tell me this is untrue.

What nonsense is this???
Instead of firing all the CECA Trash from India in DBS, they are doing all this wayang!!! WTF???

One long term remedy to this sticky problem may entail 1)immediately search and dismissed those incompetent and fake IT experts currently running the banks’ digital systems.2) Thereafter all future recruits must be accredited and licenced by an independent professional body to be established by MAS before they can be engaged by the banks to manage their digital systems.Hopefully this would keep out the fakes and rebuild the resiliency of SG digital banking system.Let’s see whether heads will roll @DBS and MAS.

Apart from incurring a substantial FX loss of US$30,800,000,000.00cents in 2023,our MAS has again shown it is not doing what’s needed to be done when discharging it’s supervisory responsibilities to prevent the ongoing rotting governance of our once spotless banking systems.Some heads must roll.So sad to witness that such bad things are actually happening in our once sunny Singapore 🇸🇬

Updating the system so that Empires can easy collect dead resources?!?

Does update make system better?
Does it curb hackers?
Does it help clients have more control over their money?
Does it compensate loss of money through scams?
They just dun want to take responsibility…

When OBVIOUS violation of strict laws in GE as in a judge decided within is NOT INSIDE – what sort of lessons and application of justices pervates society from this judicial misappropriation. It has to unmistakably allowed various adulterous wrongdoings to be right, and performed as right when a great WRONG was also considered to be right. How to account for minnows mistakes when THE VERY TOP WAS NOT TAKEN TO TASKS – which means WHEN ROT was NOT ARRESTED, do NOT EXPECT anything right as time passes bcz human being humans are governed by what is perceived as that,… Read more »

One MUST QUESTION whose money it is USED to pay for Digital Skills Courses offered as mentioned in the Skills Future Website.

LOOKING at MAS deal with banks SCREWED up I T, one is FOOLISH ENOUGH if NOT to ask what’s the Quality of I T courses OFFERED ISLAND wide in Sheegapore, esp offered by this PAP Administration asking people to UPGRADE.

Largest bank, also largest failure. Sounds like the pappies hor – highest paid, worst performing. Dun lose face also very difficult.

In time it will show the failings of the digital system the govt. has been forcing onto us. Please use your common sense and stop copying other countries when we have not developed the technology ourselves. It cannot be used as we are opening ourselves to theft in a big way. Customers must have a choice between traditional banking and digital banking. The govt. should not be forcing it onto the Public unless Ministers are going to pay for losses from their own pockets.

Fallen talents from south asian country ( Incredible India !!!) are now showing their true colours!!! Well done loong! Another badge of shame as the dishonorable son of lee kuan yew!!!

MAS should top it up with a deterrent fine and a need for DBS to compensate it’s private and commercial customers for the inconveniences and financial losses caused by its incompetence.

brah. last time there was a disruption(only 2 mths ago?), their ATMs also cannot withdraw money leh!

70% pineapple tart lovers:

This is good for you.
Next year 9% GST. Well done. Give yourself a big slap.


So far what is the punishments for all the disruptions?

Still getting $million dollar salaries on both sides? What do you think? LOL

Looks like a mouth bite by MAS but to DBS is a kiss to the lips.

Is this a deterent, a punishment, or a kiss?