Singapore sets up industry group to improve banking conduct standards

Singapore sets up industry group to improve banking conduct standards

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) announced today the establishment of the Culture and Conduct Steering Group (CCSG) to promote "sound culture" and raise conduct standards among banks in Singapore.

MAS is intensifying its work with banks to strengthen (i) ethical business practices that safeguard customers' interests and ensure fair treatment, and (ii) prudent risk-taking behaviour and robust risk management that support the bank's safety and soundness. The CCSG, chaired by Shee Tse Koon, Singapore Country Head, DBS Bank, is an important initiative to advance this agenda. It comprises members from 12 other banks in Singapore, who have responsibilities in business, risk management and compliance.

The CCSG will serve as a platform for industry participants to:

  •  Identify best practices in the area of culture and conduct and share them with the wider industry to facilitate adoption;
  • Monitor trends and identify emerging conduct and culture issues within the industry; and
  • Collaborate with MAS on initiatives to promote strong culture and conduct within the industry, including conducting industry self-assessments or updating industry codes of conduct where necessary.

Industry-wide dialogue
The recently published G30 report on banking conduct and culture highlighted that industry-wide dialogue and sharing of best practices are key to a stronger and healthier banking industry. The CCSG will provide a platform for such exchanges within the Singapore banking industry.

Ho Hern Shin, assistant managing director (Banking and Insurance) at MAS, said, "Good culture and conduct builds customer trust. It lays the foundation for sustainable business growth and enhances financial strength of banks. The establishment of the CCSG shows the industry's recognition of the value of prioritising sound culture and good conduct standards. MAS looks forward to active collaboration with the CCSG."

Shee Tse Koon, chairman for the CCSG, said, "Banks understand the need to focus on culture as it drives the behaviour of their employees and leads to positive outcomes for customers. This is a nascent area where there is potential to do more. The CCSG is eager to work with the industry and MAS to foster a sound culture within their organisations and uplift industry standards."

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.