30 March 2021

On 2 March 2021, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) and The Association of Banks in Singapore (“ABS”) jointly issued a paper titled “Risk Management and Operational Resilience in a Remote Working Environment”(“Paper”), which addresses new risks that could emerge from extensive remote working arrangements adopted by financial institutions (“FIs”) amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This Paper is part of the ongoing collaboration between MAS and ABS’ Return to Onsite Operations Taskforce (“ROOT”), to coordinate responses to the crisis and prepare for a post Covid-19 new normal.

The Paper notes that it is important that FIs remain vigilant towards remote working risks and take pre-emptive steps to mitigate these risks, particularly given protracted remote working arrangements and the likely adoption of hybrid working arrangements in future. The Paper seeks to raise awareness of key remote working risks in the financial sector, share good practices adopted by FIs to mitigate key remote working risks, and encourage all FIs to adopt good practices on managing remote working risks.

The Paper looks at possible risks to FIs in the areas of operations, technology and information security, fraud and staff misconduct, and legal and regulatory risks, and suggests key risk management actions needed to address these risks. The risks and risk mitigation measures set out in the Paper are also applicable to non-bank FIs.

MAS encourages FIs to benchmark their remote working controls against the examples in the Paper and to continually review and enhance their risk management practices to address evolving risks.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the MAS website www.mas.gov.sg and ABS website www.abs.org.sg: