DBS’ suffers digital bank service glitch; MAS mulls taking supervisory action

DBS Country Head Shee Tse Koon has apologised for the disruptions.

DBS’ online banking services have faced disruptions for two days, pushing the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to consider taking supervisory action on the bank.

Users of DBS’ digital banking services reported issues in accessing their accounts online.

DBS Singapore Country Head Shee Tse Koon apologised in a video statement released on 24 November and revealed that they identified a problem with the bank’s access control servers. On the first day of disruptions, the bank restored services by 2 AM.

“Unfortunately this morning, the same problem recurred and while the situation is less severe than yesterday, we know that many of you are still unable to get access,” Shee said.

He assured users that their deposits and monies are safe and that they can continue with their banking needs either through branch banking or through phone banking. 

Local regulator MAS said in a statement that it will consider taking the “necessary supervisory actions” regarding the tech glitch.

"This is a serious disruption and MAS expects DBS to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the root causes and implement the necessary remedial measures," said Marcus Lim, assistant managing director, banking and insurance, MAS.

"MAS will consider appropriate supervisory actions following the investigation,” Lim further said in a statement.

Official regulation states that financial institutions (FI) must ensure that the maximum downtime for each critical system does not exceed 4 hours within any 12 month period. MAS defines critical systems as a system whose failure would cause “significant disruption” to the operations of the FI or materially impact customers of the FI.

In the statement, Lim said that MAS “has been following up closely with the bank” since DBS informed them about a problem in the access control servers. 

"MAS agrees with DBS that the priority should be to fully restore its services and minimise inconvenience to customers,” he added.

Lim said that MAS expects all financial institutions to have systems and processes in place “to ensure the consistent availability of financial services to their customers.

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