17 December 2020

On 2 December 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) issued a consultation paper seeking feedback on proposed amendments to regulations, notices and guidelines arising from the Banking (Amendment) Act 2020 (“BAA”) and other changes. The consultation closes on 15 January 2021.

Parliament passed the BAA on 6 January 2020. The BAA introduces several amendments to the Banking Act (“BA”) to update and enhance MAS’ banking regulatory framework. Among the significant amendments are the removal of the requirement for banks to segregate their accounting books into the Domestic Banking Unit and Asian Currency Unit (“DBU-ACU divide”), and the consolidation of the regulation of merchant banks (“MBs”) under the BA.

Most of the BAA provisions require supporting amendments to regulations, notices and guidelines before they can commence. The legislatively and operationally straightforward sections of the BAA which did not require further consultation had already commenced on 1 October 2020. MAS had also consulted the industry on supporting amendments to regulations, notices and guidelines arising from the removal of the DBU-ACU divide for banks in 2015.

The consultation paper sets out the remaining amendments to regulations, notices and guidelines for the rest of the BAA provisions that have not yet commenced. MAS will seek feedback on proposed requirements for outsourcing arrangements of banks and MBs separately.

Apart from the amendments arising from the BAA, MAS also proposes to extend its composition powers by prescribing (a) the offences under section 47 and section 47 as applied by section 55ZI of the BA, in relation to the privacy of customer information; and (b) the offence under section 49 of the Trust Companies Act (“TCA”) in relation to the confidentiality of protected information, as compoundable offences under the BA and TCA respectively.

Reference materials

The consultation paper is available on the MAS website www.mas.gov.sg or by clicking here.