28 March 2018
On 14 March 2018, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) announced it is implementing the following measures to progressively reduce duplication and automate data submission by financial institutions (“FIs”):
- With effect from 31 March 2018, FIs will be allowed to decline any request from MAS for structured data that they have previously provided in their regular regulatory submissions to MAS; and
- With effect from 1 April 2018, all new regulatory returns from FIs to MAS must be in machine-readable format that allows data to be automatically
read and processed by computers.
The MAS announcement states that these measures will help FIs reduce the resources and preparation time needed to produce data requested by MAS. It will also make it more efficient for MAS to process and analyse the data collected.
Non-duplication of data requests
An FI’s right to decline any request from MAS for structured data that has been provided to MAS in an MAS-administered regulatory return is subject to limitations. Among other things, the right only applies to data requested and given to MAS after 31 March 2018. If FIs have provided the data to MAS prior to 31 March 2018, they will have to submit it again if so requested. If FIs wish to exercise the right to decline any data request from MAS, they must prove within 14 calendar days of the submission deadline that they had previously submitted the data.
In subsequent phases, MAS will extend the FIs’ right to decline request for structured data by MAS to other data submitted to MAS through surveys and one-off requests. The aim is to eliminate all duplication in data requests by the end of 2019.
Machine readability of data submissions
From 1 April 2018, all new regulatory returns from FIs to MAS must be in machine-readable formats, namely, in a form that allows data to be automatically read and processed by computers.
From 31 March 2018, submission templates in machine-readable format apply to new regulatory collections that meet all of the following criteria:
- Contains only structured, alpha-numerical data. Unstructured data, such as an email or annual report, need not be submitted in machine-readable format;
- Contains only data that exists in electronic form;
- Issued under an MAS-administered legislation on or after 31 March 2018.
The machine-readability format will be extended to new surveys and ad-hoc data requests from 2019 onwards.
Granular data collection
MAS will also change how it defines its data requirements. For data that can be aggregated in different ways, MAS intends to collect more detailed data on the underlying transactions instead of the aggregate statistics. MAS is working with the industry to determine the appropriate levels of granularity in its data collection.