MAS Enhances Financial Institutions Business Continuity to Address Threats

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently issued revised Guidelines on Business Continuity Management (BCM) for financial institutions, to help them strengthen their resilience “against service disruptions arising from IT outages, pandemic outbreaks, cyber-attacks and physical threats.”

The revisions take into account learnings “from the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased digitalization in the financial sector.”

The revised Guidelines “provide new insights on measures that FIs can take to better manage the increasingly complex operating environment and threat landscape to enable the continuous delivery of services to their customers.”

Under the “revised Guidelines,” FIs should:

  • adopt a service-centric approach through timely recovery of critical business services facing customers;
  • identify end-to-end dependencies that support critical business services, and address any gaps that could hinder the effective recovery of such services; and
  • enhance threat monitoring and environmental scanning, and conduct regular audits, tests, and industry exercises.

Vincent Loy, Assistant Managing Director (Technology), MAS, said:

“Against the backdrop of an increasingly volatile and complex environment, the new Guidelines will help financial institutions to take an agile and holistic approach in sustaining their critical business services when faced with threats and risk of disruption.”

The revised Guidelines “took into account feedback from two rounds of public consultation. MAS thanks all respondents for the invaluable suggestions in shaping the Guidelines.”

The BCM Guidelines “were first issued to the financial industry in June 2003, with a focus on the organizational response and recovery process to minimize the impact of business disruptions.”

Subsequently, an addendum was issued in January 2006 “to provide further guidance on measures to mitigate the impact of influenza pandemic and security threats arising from terrorism.”

As covered recently, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced the launch of Project Guardian, an effort to reveal the value created in leveraging asset tokenization. Singapore has long been a top Asian Fintech hub and there are multiple Fintechs in the digital asset sector based in the country.

Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, announced the initiative at the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit. The Deputy Prime Minister expressed Singapore’s openness to emerging disruption as well as the potential of Web3

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