Following the raising of the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) Alert Level from Yellow to Orange, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued an advisory on 7 February 2020 for financial institutions in Singapore to adopt additional measures and precautions. This is the third advisory to financial institutions since January 2020.
MAS’ advisory of 7 February 2020 called on financial institutions to adopt the additional recommended measures by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Manpower, whilst ensuring the following when carrying out their business continuity plans:
- a) Continue to maintain effective internal controls across their operations should split team arrangements be implemented;
- b) Anticipate and be prepared to manage any increase in demand for certain financial services, such as cash withdrawal or online financial services;
- c) Inform customers promptly of the availability of services and operating hours; and
- d) Monitor and support staff morale.
Cyber threats and scams alert
MAS has also reminded financial institutions that they should remain vigilant on the cyber security front as there have been cases of cyber threat actors taking advantage of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation to conduct email scams, phishing and ransomware attacks.
MAS has been informed about scammers impersonating MOH contact tracing officials and requesting for financial information from individuals. MOH does not ask for financial information during contact tracing calls, and members of the public are advised to verify the authenticity of the phone calls with the MOH hotline (Tel: 6325 9220) if they have any doubts about the caller’s identity.
MAS is closely monitoring the 2019-nCoV situation and remains engaged with financial institutions to ensure that appropriate business continuity plans are in place.