Singapore’s MAS consults on raising bar for individual accountability

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is seeking industry feedback on a proposal to “strengthen individual accountability of senior managers, and raise standards of conduct in financial institutions”, as part of what it says are its “broader efforts to foster a culture of ethical behaviour and responsible risk-taking in the financial industry”.

The proposed guidelines set out the authority’s expectations of boards and senior management with respect to individual conduct and behaviours, and “are not designed to be prescriptive”, the MAS said in a statement announcing the consultation last week.

“Monetary Authority of Singapore’s three-pronged approach on culture and conduct”

The proposed guidelines include a requirement that financial institutions, or “FIs” as it calls them, identify senior managers who are responsible for core management functions, and that they clearly specify these individuals’ accountabilities.

“FIs should ensure that senior managers are fit and proper for their roles, and hold them responsible for the actions of their staff and the conduct of the business under their purview.

The FI’s management structure and reporting relationships should be clear and transparent.”

Ong Chong Tee, deputy managing director of financial supervision at the MAS, noted that “persistent misconduct and a lack of individual accountability by persons in charge” would “erode public confidence” in financial institutions.

“Clear accountability and proper conduct are important elements of good governance and sound business practice.  We expect the boards and senior management of FIs to instil a strong culture of responsibility and ethical conduct.”

The consultation is open for industry comment until 25 May. The 27-page document, entitled Proposed Guidelines on Individual Accountability and Conduct, may be viewed and downloaded by clicking here. 

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