DBS, one of the largest banks in Southeast Asia and one of the few companies allowed to offer crypto products to customers in Singapore, has come under fire for repeated service outages over the past few months.
In response, Singapore’s Central Bank MAS has imposed new restrictions on the company with effect immediately.
The new restrictions include a six-month pause on non-essential IT changes, a prohibition on acquiring new business ventures during the six-month period, and a prohibition on reducing the size of its branch and ATM networks in Singapore.
At the end of the six-month period, MAS will review DBS’ progress before determining the next course of action.
Over the past few months, DBS customers have been plagued by several service disruptions, including being unable to pay using the DBS Paylah! application, and more recently, being unable to pay using debit and credit cards issued by DBS.
Prior to this set of new restrictions, MAS had already imposed an additional capital requirement of about $1.6 billion on DBS in May.
DBS Chairman Peter Seah has issued an apology for the disruptions, and acknowledged that the bank has failed to meet the needs of its customers. He has promised that ‘senior management will be held accountable, and this will be reflected in their compensation’.
CEO Piyush Gupta has also apologised for the disruption, and promised a special budget of $80 million to enhance system resiliency. DBS is currently in the process of implementing a technology resiliency roadmap, which is expected to take around two years to complete.
In the meantime, MAS has warned that it is possible that disruptions may still occur, and expects DBS to ‘promptly recover its services and communicate to its customers in a clear and timely manner.’