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MAS punishes DBS Bank for IT failures


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Singaporean central bank and financial regulator, has imposed a six-month ban on DBS Bank from undertaking any new business acquisitions. The decision comes in the wake of multiple service disruptions experienced by the bank this year. In addition to this, DBS Bank, which is Singapore’s largest lender, has been mandated to halt all non-essential IT modifications for the same duration.

Commenting on the announcement, MAS said: “This is to ensure that the bank dedicates the needed resources and attention to strengthen its technology risk management systems and controls.” 

On October 14, both DBS bank and Citibank experienced disruptions in their digital banking and payment services. This interruption was attributed to a technical glitch in the cooling system of a data center managed by Equinix. Neither bank was able to fully restore their systems within the stipulated 4-hour timeframe. Following this, MAS directed both DBS bank and Citibank to undertake a comprehensive investigation into the matter. This service disruption was the latest of several from DBS bank this year.

MAS said it will review the progress made by DBS Bank at the end of the six-month period, adding: “MAS may extend the duration of the measures, vary the additional capital requirement currently imposed, or take further actions at that point”.

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