MAS unveils joint paper on managing remote working risks

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Frances Gagua
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Financial Services

Financial institutions are called to benchmark their practices against examples in the study.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) have jointly issued a paper on managing new risks that could emerge from extensive remote-working arrangements adopted by financial institutions (FIs).

With the onset of the pandemic, Singapore has enacted social distancing rules since March 2020 which named work-from-home as the default mode of working. Revised guidelines released by the Ministry of Manpower last September 2020 continue to advise employers that no more than half of employees who are able to work from home are at the workplace at any point in time, allow for flexible work hours, and minimise physical meetings, amongst other guidelines.

The joint paper “Risk Management and Operational Resilience in a Remote Working Environment” calls for FIs to remain vigilant towards remote-working risks and take pre-emptive steps to mitigate them.

MAS encourages FIs to benchmark their remote-working controls against examples list in the paper.

“FIs should also continually review and enhance their risk management practices to address evolving risks. This paper is part of the ongoing collaboration between MAS and ABS’ Return to Onsite Operations Taskforce, to coordinate responses to the crisis and prepare for a post COVID-19 new normal,” MAS said in the joint release with ABS accompanying the release of the study.

Amongst possible risks studied are those in the areas of operations, technology and information security, fraud and staff misconduct, and legal and regulatory risks.

It also examines the impact on people and culture that may be brought about by remote working, MAS and ABS said in a joint release accompanying the announcement of the paper.

The paper also provides suggestions of key risk management actions needed to address the said risks, drawing from the experiences of ABS member banks.