Bank denies digital service disruption linked to Myanmar treasury bond sales

DBS Bank yesterday denied that the disruption to its digital services was linked to the sale of treasury bonds in Myanmar.

DBS and POSB users with Singapore-based accounts were affected after services were disrupted on Tuesday. The digital disruption is one of the worst for South-east Asia's biggest lender in a decade.

"There have been rumours that DBS' digibanking service disruption is linked to the sale of treasury bonds by Myanmar's National Unity Government (NUG). There is no truth to this. DBS has not sold any such bonds," the bank said on Twitter, debunking rumours yesterday afternoon. The NUG is Myanmar's parallel government comprising ousted lawmakers.

A number of news outlets in Myanmar reported on Tuesday that the disruption was caused by the high volume of transactions as Myanmar nationals used DBS and POSB online services to buy zero-interest bonds issued by the NUG.

Reuters on Tuesday reported that the NUG had raised US$6.3 million (S$8.6 million) on the opening day of its inaugural bond sale on Monday to mainly Myanmar nationals overseas.

Even though the bonds in denominations of US$100, US$500, US$1,000 and US$5,000 with two-year tenures generate no interest income for buyers, US$3 million worth was sold in the first three hours, the NUG was quoted as saying, increasing to US$6.3 million by the end of the day.

The overall target is to raise US$1 billion for a "revolution" to oust the military government.

Magdalene Fung

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2021, with the headline 'Bank denies digital service disruption linked to Myanmar treasury bond sales'. Subscribe