Singapore Banking Authority MAS says DBS failure is ‘unacceptable’

A logo of DBS Group Holdings Ltd. on an ATM at a bank branch in Singapore on Wednesday February 17, 2021.

Lauryn Ishak | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE – Stocks of Southeast Asia’s largest bank DBS group was down 1.4% on Thursday, a day after a 10-hour outage of its digital services.

Singapore’s Monetary Authority said the default was “unacceptable” and that the lender “did not live up to expectations”.

DBS was the biggest loser in terms of Singapore benchmark index points Straits Times Index on Thursday.

In a statement released late Wednesday, MAS said it had directed DBS to “conduct a thorough investigation to determine the root cause of the disruption and submit its investigation findings to MAS.”

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The central bank said it would gather the “necessary facts” before taking appropriate action.

DBS digital services were suspended from around 8:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Wednesday morning. The users could not access online banking services or trade through the brokerage.

Then, late Wednesday, the bank announced it would extend banking services by two hours at all branches.

DBS tried to insure its customers that its systems were not compromised and that customers’ deposits were safe.

In a statement on Wednesday, DBS CEO Piyush Gupta said the bank was “disappointed” by the incident, adding, “We hold ourselves to higher standards and reviewing today’s events is our top priority.”

In November 2021, MAS imposed additional capital requirements on DBS after the bank’s digital banking services were disrupted for two days.

DBS had to apply a 1.5x multiplier to its risk-weighted assets for operational risk, which equates to S$930 million (US$700 million) in additional regulatory capital.

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