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Monetary Authority of Singapore to Take Tougher Action Against Data Breaches

To address the data privacy concern, MAS has recommended that data privacy offences should be made compoundable. This will allow MAS to take more strict action for breaches that require stronger penalties but do not fall under the threshold of prosecution. 

A new consultation paper is published by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to reveal the remaining regulatory amendments and guidelines required by the banks in the Banking Amendment Act of 2020.

Earlier this year, Singapore’s Parliament passed the Bank Amendment Act to initiate regulations to improve Singapore’s banking regulatory requirement. 

The required amendments included the clause that demolished the obligation of the banks to segregate their accounting books into the Asian Currency Unit and Domestic Banking Unit. The act also includes the implementation of the regulation of merchant banks. 

The BAA amendments obligate to comply with regulations, notices, and guidelines. MAS is already working on the implementation sections of the BAA that are straightforward and no further consultation is required for them. 

This new paper has enabled MAS to set out the remaining amendments to Regulations, Notices, and Guidelines. Now the rest of the BAA can be initiated. 

Additionally, MAS has also recommended amendments that will give it the authority to compound offences which results from the failure to regulate with the obligations that safeguard the customer data, for both the banking industry and other business organization.

The paper states that “This is a useful addition to MAS’ toolkit to ensure that action appropriate to the facts and circumstances of each case can be taken for instances of noncompliance. MAS would be able to take tougher actions against breaches that do not meet the threshold of criminal prosecution but call for stronger penalties than provided for under existing supervisory tools.”

The recommendation for merchant banks will be consulted separately.