May 26, 2022

SINGAPORE — OCBC’s recent goodwill payouts to fully cover scam victims’ losses were a “one-off gesture by the bank in the circumstances” and do not set a general precedent for future cases, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Friday (Feb 4).

Hundreds of OCBC Bank customers fell prey to online phishing scams last month, with the bank saying all affected customers will get “full goodwill payouts”.

The payouts included the bank’s consideration of how it had not met its own expectations of customer service and response, said MAS.

Banks in Singapore have “substantially implemented” additional measures announced last month to bolster the security of digital banking, added the authority.

Following the spate of SMS phishing scams targeting bank customers, several immediate steps were put in place to strengthen controls.

These include the removal of clickable links in SMSes or emails sent to customers, setting a default threshold of S$100 or lower for funds transfer transaction notifications and having a delay of at least 12 hours before the activation of a new soft token on a mobile device.

MAS is working with the industry to evaluate longer-term measures to be implemented in the coming months. It is also developing a framework for the equitable sharing of losses arising from scams.

SHARING LOSSES

The Payments Council, chaired by MAS, has been working since July 2021 on a framework that aims to provide clarity on how losses arising from scams…

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