Exchange on Ministerial Statements for Strengthening Enforcement and Public Education

Ms Hazel Poa (Non-Constituency Member): Thank you, Mr Speaker, I thank the Ministers and the Ministries for the efforts that they have put in and continue to put in to prevent future scams. I have two supplementary questions.

Firstly, is MAS considering the contingency reimbursement model in the UK where banks reimburse scam victims which started on a voluntary basis but there are now plans to legislate it?

The second supplementary question: in working out the shared responsibility between banks and their customers, would MAS consider putting the onus more on the banks on the basis that: one, the banks are more tech-savvy and scam-savvy than the average bank customer and they have better resources to keep up-to-date with the latest tactics; two, it provides additional incentives on the banks to adopt a pre-emptive approach, for example, to consider the scam potential before pushing out new procedures or facilities; and thirdly, it is probably more cost-effective to focus scam prevention efforts from the ends of a few banks rather than public education on whole wide range of bank customers?

Mr Lawrence Wong: Mr Speaker, this must be my third question on the loss sharing framework. I can appreciate that there is a lot of interest in this and, as I said, it is a work-in-progress but to quickly answer Ms Poa’s two questions.

Number one: MAS will certainly look at models around the world in developing the details of this framework for the sharing of losses in an equitable fair share.

Number two: as she highlighted, the responsibility will be different for individuals and financial institutions. We are very mindful that individuals have a different set of resources and capabilities, compared to financial institutions. So, in developing the specific responsibilities for individuals and for financial institutions, we will certainly take that into consideration.