MAS clarifies coverage for loss arising from scams

OCBC fully-covering losses should not set a general precedent for future cases, the regulator said.

Singapore is implementing additional measures to bolster the security of digital banking following a series of phishing scams last January, including terms on covering losses.

Also Read: Singapore launches new measures to bolster digital banking security

In particular, the financial regulator said that OCBC’s goodwill payouts, which saw the bank fully cover customer losses, are “a one-off gesture” and do not set a general precedent for future cases.

“The proportion of losses that each party bears will depend on whether and how the party has fallen short of its responsibilities. MAS expects financial institutions to treat their customers fairly and bear an appropriate proportion of losses arising from scams. At the same time, care must be taken to ensure that compensation paid to customers does not weaken their incentive for all to be vigilant,” MAS wrote in a press release.

A new framework created by The Payments Council is set to be released for public consultation in the next three months. Other than the sharing of losses, the consultation will also cover the responsibilities of other key parties in the ecosystem, the regulator said.

In the meantime, MAS reminded financial institutions that they have “the responsibility to protect their customers, such as through robust controls to safeguard customer accounts, and effective measures to detect and respond to suspicious transactions.”

Customers are also reminded to take necessary precautions. These include never giving away personal or banking credentials to anyone; never clicking on links in SMSes or emails which are claimed to be sent by a bank; verifying any SMEs or emails received by calling the bank; monitor transaction notifications from banks; and transacting only through the bank’s official website or mobile application.

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