The Monetary Authority of Singapore (the “MAS”) is proposing significant policy amendments to the Banking Act (the “BA”) and issued a consultation paper in January 2015 seeking feedback on a draft Banking (Amendment) Bill (the “Draft Bill”). The consultation exercise closes on 13 February 2015.

The proposed changes take into account market developments and international regulatory standards and best practices. The MAS is amending the BA to strengthen its supervisory oversight over banks and to codify its current supervisory expectations and practices.

This consultation follows an earlier one in November 2013 when the MAS issued a consultation paper and sought feedback on important changes to the BA including:

  • Requiring banks to notify the MAS as soon as they become aware of any material adverse developments affecting the banks and providing information to the MAS relating to key appointment holders, substantial holders and controllers;
  • Strengthening the MAS’ control over banks’ key appointment holders and auditors; and
  • Formalising banks’ duties to implement adequate risk management systems and controls commensurate with the scale and nature of their operations.

The MAS has considered the feedback received on the consultation paper issued in November 2013 and has issued its Response in January 2015. The Draft Bill contains the legislative amendments that will give effect to the changes proposed in the consultation paper issued in November 2013.

Aside from these changes, the Draft Bill also proposes further amendments to the BA, most notably, a requirement for banks to obtain MAS approval for places of business at which they conduct certain non-banking activities. Another new proposed change relates to the MAS’ power to declare bank holidays.

Implementation timeline

In its Response, the MAS states that the Draft Bill is targeted to be passed into law in the second half of 2015.

Reference materials

The following materials are available from the MAS website www.mas.gov.sg: