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MAS sets goal to make all data requests to financial institutions in machine readable templates

MAS sets goal to make all data requests to financial institutions in machine readable templates

Featured image via the Singapore FinTech Festival Twitter Page. 

In his opening
at the Singapore FinTech Festival today, Mr. Ravi Menon, Managing
Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that MAS is setting a
goal to make all its data requests to financial institutions in machine
readable templates.

Currently, financial institutions’ data submissions to MAS often involve manual
processes to extract the information from their databases and fill up the
MAS-provided form or template.
On the side of MAS, processing such data is also done manually. 

The eventual aim is that the requested data will flow seamlessly from financial
institutions’ databases to our forms and ultimately to the supervisory
dashboards of MAS officers, with no need for “cutting and pasting” data and
information. MAS will work with the industry on an implementation plan and a
reasonable timeline to make it happen.

Mr. Menon also explained that it is not only the financial industry that needs
FinTech, but regulators as well. MAS has embarked on its own FinTech journey to
make its supervision more effective and the compliance burden it imposes less
painful. For instance, one of the most difficult things to detect in the market
is collusive behaviour and price manipulation.

MAS has put in place a data analytics and pattern recognition system, to study
trading behaviour and detect accounts that may be acting in concert to
manipulate share prices, or engaging in circular trading to create a false
impression of market interest. 

Another example is that MAS is now working on a data analytics system to scour
through the 3,000 “suspicious transaction reports”, or STRs, that financial
institutions file each month on money laundering or terrorist financing risks.

A major source of pain for financial institutions is regulators requesting for
the same data more than once under different data collection exercises. MAS
intends to fix this by taking a more cohesive approach to data and will aim to
achieve zero duplications in its data requests to financial institutions. If MAS
asks for the data twice, the institution will be allowed to gently turn it down. 

Mr. Menon said MAS is working with the industry to make this a reality.

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