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No requirement for banks to report amounts lost by customers to scams: Lawrence Wong

DPM Lawrence Wong stated that financial institutions aren’t required to report customer losses to scams to MAS or other authorities. He explained that MAS already has access to the needed data for supervision, responding to queries by NCMP Hazel Poa.



SINGAPORE: Financial institutions have no regulatory requirement to report the amounts lost by their customers to scams to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) or other authorities, said Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong.

In response to a Parliamentary question filed by Ms Hazel Poa, Non-constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), DPM Wong explained that MAS or other authorities have access to the data needed for supervision.

Ms Poa asked the Prime Minister regarding the obligation for financial institutions to report scam-related losses to MAS or other authorities, seeking details on the amounts lost in 2022 and 2023, broken down by financial institutions.

In a written answer, DPM Wong, in response to Ms Poa’s question on behalf of PM Lee, advised Ms Poa that the total amount lost to scams can be obtained from the bi-annual scam statistics published by the Singapore Police Force (SPF), which are derived from police reports filed by victims.

Scam-related losses in Singapore hit S$2 billion over 3-year period

Between January 2020 and June 2023, victims in Singapore suffered approximately S$2 billion in losses due to scams.

Globally, scammers were estimated to have stolen around US$1.02 trillion from August 2022 to August 2023, as reported by a study conducted by the Global Anti-Scam Alliance and ScamAdviser, a data service provider.

The mid-year scam statistics for 2023, released by the SPF, reported a staggering 64.5% increase in scam cases in the first half of 2023, reaching 22,339 compared to 13,576 cases during the same period in 2022.

Despite the surge in cases, the total losses in the first half of last year saw a slight decrease, from S$342.1 million to S$334.5 million.

Notably, more than half of the victims (55%) reported losses of up to S$2,000.

With DPM Wong’s clarifications, the losses reported by the SPF might not represent the total sum that has been lost, as some might not file a police report.

Measures to address losses from scams

On 25 October 2023, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and IMDA proposed the Shared Responsibility Framework to address losses resulting from scams and allocate responsibility among financial institutions, telcos, and consumers.

The framework mandates that financial institutions and telcos failing in their responsibilities will be required to reimburse victims of specific phishing scams.

Negligence, such as banks’ failure to send outgoing transaction alerts or telcos’ lack of implementation of scam filters for SMSes, are areas outlined within this framework.

Separately, The Central Provident Fund (CPF) announced on Monday a default online withdrawal limit of S$2,000 (approximately US$1,490) per day will be enforced for all CPF members aged 55 and above in Singapore.

On 10 January this year, the Singapore Parliament held a seven-hour session discussing the importance of a safe digital space.

New guidelines have been issued to help telecommunications companies protect consumers, particularly those vulnerable to scams. This includes training frontline staff to identify and assist at-risk consumers and encouraging telcos to waive charges for scam victims.

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DBS’ net profit for 2023 was a record $10.3 bil.

Senior leaders like the CEO’s were penalised financially for multiple digital disruptions. Can these disruptions be indicative of the insufficient resources assigned in the digital area of the banking operations and functions?

More to the point; were enough resources allocated to prevent scams that seem to plague DBS’ customers?

And what about having ALL banks compensate customers for ALL losses due to scams? This is perhaps the only way to nudge ALL banks to do more to fight scams.

Bank Scam is an insider job … No why nobody wants to take responsibility or improve the system … Only Wayang with Pay lah and Pay and Pay …

It’s becoming more difficult AND COSTLY to move funds from the banks. First, they terminated the use of personal cheques. Then they charge you $15 for a cashier’s order. You want to make a fixed deposit? They give preferential rates if done online. Then when you get SCAMMED online and your account gets drained, they shrug shrug and say it is YOUR FAULT!

Why don’t make this a requirement?

And also give reason for the scam……whether bank provide insider information.

Shared responsibilities MUST INCLUDE platforms like Facebook and Carousell that host such scams.

They are the ones collecting money from the scammers. They should be allocated teh highest penalties amongst the various parties

Should read as “No requirements for banks to reveal HOW many of their customers are stupid!”😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣🤣

Why no need to report and let the Public have the information? It should be made mandatory as the reporting will help the Public decide on the choice of banking institutions. The information should also show which banks had the biggest losses , the percentage of recovery and how much loss customers had to bear. It should detail the origin of the scams.

Smart Nation on the PIG island .