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MAS Penalises DBS For 2021’s Disruption After Finding Flaws In Bank’s Recovery SOPs

MAS Imposes Capital Requirement Penalty On DBS For 2021 Outage

DBS customers had difficulties accessing the bank’s digital services for a few days in Nov 2021 due to a “serious disruption”.

As a result of this mass disruption, MAS announced on Monday (7 Feb) that DBS will have to set aside another $930 million as regulatory capital.


This comes after the regulatory body found deficiencies in DBS’ recovery procedures, contributing to the prolonged period of outage.

MAS imposes a $930 million capital requirement penalty on DBS

In a statement on Monday, MAS said DBS would have to apply a 1.5x multiplier to its risk-weighted assets for operational risk.


Based on DBS’ financial statements as of 30 Sep 2021, this translates to around $930 million in regulatory capital.

Regulatory capital refers to the amount of capital banks must set aside as a buffer to cover unexpected losses. This will also allow them to remain solvent should a crisis occur, reports The Straits Times.

The amount is reportedly about 4 times the amount that DBS had to set aside due to a previous outage in 2010.

DBS to implement measures to better cope with future disruptions

MAS had also found “deficiencies” in DBS’ incident management and recovery SOPs that were meant to help restore its digital banking services to their “normal state”.

This reportedly contributed to the prolonged period of outage.

In addition to the capital requirements, DBS is also required to appoint an independent expert who will review the incident.

DBS will subsequently have to resolve all shortcomings identified during this review. They’ll also have to implement measures to ensure future disruptions to its digital services will be resolved swiftly and adequately.

MAS will review the additional capital requirement when they’re satisfied that DBS has addressed the highlighted shortcomings.

Restoring confidence

Reliability is a key pillar of any bank’s credibility. We hope the measures implemented will prevent a similar outage episode seen last year.

While nobody wishes for such ‘punishment’ to be meted out, it’s perhaps a necessary deterrence to restore public confidence in DBS.

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Featured image adapted from Justin Hickling on Flickr

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