MAS lays out road map to streamline data requests

The MAS has said that institutions will be allowed to decline its requests for data that they have already provided. The submission of new regulatory returns will also have to be done in machine-readable formats.
The MAS has said that institutions will be allowed to decline its requests for data that they have already provided. The submission of new regulatory returns will also have to be done in machine-readable formats.PHOTO: REUTERS

Measures will cut duplication, resources financial institutions need to produce data

Singapore's financial regulator has devised a road map that will progressively cut down on duplication in data requests.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced yesterday that the road map, which takes effect from March 31, will help financial institutions reduce the resources and preparation time needed to produce data it requested. It will also make it more efficient for the central bank to process and analyse the data collected.

The first measure aims to ensure that financial institutions need not submit the same data twice.

Institutions will be allowed to decline any request from the MAS for structured data that they have previously provided in their regular regulatory submissions.

This will be extended to other data submitted to the MAS through surveys and one-off requests in subsequent phases.

The second measure will require financial institutions to submit all new regulatory returns in machine-readable formats from April 1.

These formats will be extended to new surveys and ad-hoc data requests from next year.

The MAS will seek feedback from financial institutions on providing data in the machine-readable formats prior to 2019 and take into account this feedback before the second phase of implementation.

The third measure deals with changes to how MAS defines its data requirements.

Chief data officer David Hardoon said: "This is an opportunity for both MAS and financial institutions to co-create an industry data collection platform that not only benefits MAS as a regulator, but also allows financial institutions to leverage the data collected to improve their operations."

Local banks welcomed the moves.

OCBC's head of group corporate communications Koh Ching Ching said: "Data is critical for robust and meaningful regulatory oversight. Digitising data collection will help to ensure that data is obtained, analysed and stored accurately, timely and efficiently."

Mr Lam Chee Kin, group head of legal, compliance and secretariat at DBS, added: "Even if we have to make short-term changes to systems and processes, investing in data infrastructure and quality is the way forward."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2018, with the headline 'MAS lays out road map to streamline data requests'. Print Edition | Subscribe