Bank service

DBS suffers from a digital banking service problem; MAS plans to take surveillance measures

DBS Country Head Shee Tse Koon apologized for the disruption.

DBS’s online banking services suffered disruption for two days, prompting the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to consider taking supervisory action on the bank.

DBS digital banking users have reported issues accessing their online accounts.

DBS Singapore Director Shee Tse Koon apologized in a video statement released on November 24 and revealed that she had identified an issue with the bank’s access control servers. On the first day of the disruption, the bank restored services at 2 a.m.

“Sadly this morning the same problem has reoccurred and although the situation is less serious than yesterday, we know that many of you still cannot access it,” Shee said.

He assured users that their deposits and money were safe and that they could continue to meet their banking needs through branch banking or over the phone.

Local regulator MAS said in a statement that it would consider taking “necessary monitoring measures” regarding the technology issue.

“This is a serious disruption and MAS expects DBS to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the root causes and implement the necessary corrective actions,” said Marcus Lim, deputy managing director, banking and insurance, MAS.

“MAS will consider appropriate surveillance measures following the investigation,” Lim added in a statement.

Official regulations state that financial institutions (FIs) must ensure that the maximum downtime for each critical system does not exceed 4 hours in a 12 month period. MAS defines critical systems as a system the failure of which would cause a “significant disruption” to the FI’s operations or have a significant impact on the FI’s customers.

In the statement, Lim said MAS “has been following the bank closely” since DBS informed them of an issue in the access control servers.

“MAS agrees with DBS that the priority should be to completely restore its services and minimize inconvenience to customers,” he added.

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