MAS, ABS Offer Guidance on Managing Remote Working Risks

The paper looks at possible risks to FIs in the areas of operations, technology, information security, fraud, staff misconduct, among others.

MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) and ABS (The Association of Banks in Singapore) have jointly published a paper on managing new risks that could emerge from extensive remote working arrangements adopted by FIs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In view of the protracted remote working arrangements due to Covid-19, and their likely continued adoption in the longer-term ‘new normal’, it is important that FIs consider and monitor remote working risks closely so as to take pre-emptive steps to mitigate them,” the paper says.

The paper seeks to raise awareness of key remote working risks in the financial sector, categorised into two main areas: risks to FIs’ operations; and impacts on people and culture.

The risks to FIs’ operations encompass the following:

  • Operational risks (changes in control environments, outsourcing and third party arrangements, business continuity management)
  • Information security and technology risks (information governance, cybersecurity, IT assets management)
  • Fraud and staff misconduct risks (lack of face-to-face verification, staff acting on false customer instructions, customer fraud, staff collusion, inappropriate customer communications)
  • Legal and regulatory risks (digital signing, human resource management, making of legal contracts)

The impacts on people and culture can include emotional and mental stress, or the adverse effects on an organisation’s culture, team dynamics, creativity and overall ability to innovate.

The paper shares good practices to help FIs, including non-banks, in managing remote working risks. 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.

The paper, available here, 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.

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