May 22, 2024


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Singapore publishes new financial guidelines to address business continuity – Asia Law Portal


On 6 June 2022, adhering to two rounds of consultations, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) published revised Guidelines on Business Continuity Administration (BCM), updating the present patchwork of primary and subsidiary legislation. This iteration of the recommendations (2022 Tips) introduces a slew of improvements which are envisioned to be adopted by 6 June 2023 and is the major update in nearly two a long time – given that the initial release in 2003.

Authors: Hagen Rooke, Bryan Tan, Charmian Aw, Nina Carlina Sugianto, Bernice Tian, Leon Goh (Resource Regulation LLC)

Critical changes

Critical business products and services and capabilities

Under the 2022 Tips, Money Institutions (FIs) should really discover their critical business products and services due to the fact a variety of constraints avert FIs from resuming all business services and features immediately when disruptions occur.

However, FIs can formulate restoration approaches that prioritise critical companies. In formulating these procedures, FIs should really adopt an conclude-to-finish see of the important business services’ dependencies, thinking about both of those the personal processes and the other processes supporting the shipping and delivery of the important products and services.

FIs should really look at:

  • their protection and soundness
  • their shoppers, acquiring regard to the variety and profile of customers affected, as well as the method in which they are impacted and
  • other FIs that count on the business expert services.

With the onus on FIs to make certain obvious accountability and obligation for the business continuity of their critical business solutions, FIs should really also guarantee that there are personnel appointed to oversee the restoration and resumption of each and every important business provider in the function of a disruption.

Provider recovery time objective (SRTO)

The moment the critical business services have been discovered, the FI should build an SRTO for every single of these services. In setting up the SRTOs, the FI really should think about:

  • its obligations to its buyers
  • the other FIs that rely on the business services and
  • the feasibility of acquiring the set SRTO, especially for significant business companies that contain extra dependencies.

Hence, the restoration methods in put should really allow FIs to reach the proven SRTOs and restore the disrupted solutions to the stage required to fulfill their business obligations.

FIs must also be well prepared for the possibility of partial disruptions (which would include intermittent or lessened performance that is not tantamount to a total unavailability of company). When confronted with these types of a prospect, FIs should have distinct standards to ascertain if their business continuity plans (BCPs) should really be activated before the circumstance success in a serious effect.

Dependency mapping

Amid an significantly interconnected financial ecosystem, the 2022 Guidelines highlight threats arising from the expanding reliance on widespread IT programs and 3rd events. To mitigate these threats, FIs are proposed to establish and map the finish-to-end dependencies covering men and women, processes, technologies and other methods (which includes all those involving 3rd functions) that guidance every single crucial business services.

By accomplishing so, FIs will be ready to discover means important to assistance shipping and delivery and deal with any likely gaps that could hinder the success and safe restoration of the vital business providers. This details can also guide in formulating the restoration strategies talked about previously mentioned.

As for dependence on 3rd get-togethers, the 2022 Tips recognise the truth of at any time-escalating interconnectivity inside the economic technique. Nevertheless, FIs ought to even now be certain that third functions are able to satisfy the SRTOs of their critical business services. This can be achieved by:

  • reviewing the agreements with 3rd functions to incorporate certain and measurable restoration anticipations that support the FI’s BCM
  • making sure that the BCPs of third get-togethers meet appropriate benchmarks and are frequently examined
  • creating preparations with third events to safeguard the availability of crucial assets
  • conducting audits on the third events or
  • doing joint exams with third functions.

Danger of concentration

When a number of significant business companies and/or features are outsourced to a solitary assistance provider, there is an greater danger of concentration. Hence, the 2022 Recommendations propose the pursuing ways to mitigate the possibility of focus and reduce the impression in the function of a disruption:

  • have different principal and secondary internet sites for essential business solutions and features, or infrastructure (these kinds of as data centres) in various zones, to mitigate vast-spot disruption
  • individual crucial business functions into different zones to mitigate the danger of dropping a number of vital business capabilities, and the crucial business products and services that they guidance, next large-area disruption
  • deploy important personnel throughout unique zones, or build reserve staff arrangements to do away with dependency on a single labour pool
  • recognize essential capabilities or roles, and acquire cross-schooling programmes to build versatility for key personnel included in these roles
  • activate cross-border aid as a contingency throughout disruptions or
  • interact an option service company to permit for redundancy, or so that they can be activated to supply immediate assistance when the primary service company is unavailable.

Continuous assessment and advancement

Although it is natural for FIs to continually boost their business procedures by incorporating new events or technological innovation, the reliance on technology and third get-togethers is accompanied by greater chance exposure, which FIs should really deal with proactively by:

  • actively checking and determining exterior threats and developments that could disrupt normal functions as perfectly as any emerging threats that could pose a chance to business continuity
  • having in area a system to notify interior stakeholders and senior administration to the existence of threats in a well timed fashion
  • routinely reviewing their BCM measures to identify parts of advancement and address any gaps. This should be performed in unique adhering to operational disruption, in close proximity to misses, or incidents in other organisations, to greatly enhance business continuity preparedness and
  • regularly examining the need to have for further tools and automation to permit them to take care of incidents or disruption far more successfully.

Typically, it is suggested that FIs assessment their crucial business solutions and capabilities, and the respective SRTOs and restoration time objectives (RTOs) and their dependencies, at the very least annually or whenever there are product modifications that have an impact on them.


As aspect of its BCM preparedness, the FI really should carry out standard and complete testing. Having said that, for the screening to be efficient, the 2022 Suggestions advise that the proposed take a look at functions meet up with the subsequent goals:

  • the exams need to validate and measure the efficiency of the BCPs employing ideal metrics, and remediate any gaps or weaknesses that are identified in the recovery process
  • staff (which includes all those of applicable third events) who are concerned in business continuity and crisis administration ought to be familiar with their roles and duties so as to improve coordination and assure seamless execution of the many designs
  • to prepare senior administration and employees associated in crisis management, the proposed take a look at really should not only advise them of probable locations of worry that could arise in a disaster, but also enable them to practise producing choices beneath simulated circumstances, which include eventualities that need prioritising the recovery of competing critical business providers and capabilities
  • to make sure the relevance and efficiency of the FI’s BCPs, the options really should be strain-examined underneath serious, but plausible, eventualities so as to greater mitigate the effects of extreme disruptions and
  • the FI should really verify that the established recovery techniques can reach the SRTOs of its vital business companies and RTOs of its important business capabilities.

The FI should also appropriately document all its examination information in element, which include the take a look at objectives, scope, circumstance design and style, participants involved, final results and stick to-ups for every check. Gaps and weaknesses determined from the FI’s business continuity screening ought to then be claimed to senior management.

In reaction to these results, remedial actions need to be taken to enhance the current restoration processes. There should also be a official method to follow up on the remedial actions, and the efficacy of the remediation actions carried out must also be validated at subsequent assessments.

The 2022 Tips also strongly urge FIs to take part in field and cross-sector workouts to bolster joint reaction and coordination, and increase the effectiveness of the monetary sector’s over-all business continuity capability.


Below the 2022 Guidelines, it is proposed that FIs audit their over-all BCM framework and the BCM of each individual of their essential business solutions at minimum once each individual 3 decades. The audit really should be performed by a qualified social gathering that is independent and has the important BCM know-how and abilities to carry out the audit. Whilst the audit really should assess the adequacy and usefulness of the FI’s BCM, particular focus must be offered to better risk locations recognized from the FI’s possibility assessment, earlier audit results, and relevant incidents.

After the audit conclusions have been produced, the FI must monitor and keep track of the implementation of sustainable remedial actions. Any considerable audit conclusions on lapses that may well have a serious impact on the FI’s BCM need to also be escalated to the board and senior management. Furthermore, the FI ought to post the BCM audit reports to MAS on request.

Incident and crisis management

To make sure that senior management is very well placed to answer to a crisis, the 2022 Rules advise that the FI need to have in place:

  • a disaster administration structure with plainly outlined roles and chain of command (such as designating solutions to key representatives)
  • a set of pre-outlined triggers and criteria for timely activation of the crisis management structure
  • programs and techniques to guideline the FI on the system of motion and selections to be manufactured during a crisis
  • applications and procedures to facilitate well timed updating and evaluation of the latest problem to help decision-generating for the duration of a crisis
  • a record of all inner and external stakeholders that will need to be informed when a crucial business services is disrupted, as perfectly as conversation programs and specifications (drawer programs, notification criteria, notification timelines, update frequency, and many others.) for each stakeholder
  • communication channels, such as mainstream and social media, to efficiently converse with its stakeholders, such as alternate channels that can be employed when the principal interaction channel is unavailable
  • a interaction channel with workers to update them on developments for the duration of an incident and
  • an all round coordinator to coordinate incident administration and recovery in which the shipping of a business assistance depends on a number of business functions.

In addition, the FI ought to notify MAS as soon as probable, but not afterwards than one particular hour, following the discovery of incidents exactly where business functions have been seriously disrupted, or when the BCP is likely to be activated in reaction to an incident. When notifying MAS, the FI should provide facts as for each the MAS incident reporting template.

Tasks of board and senior administration

In a departure from the previous suggestions, the 2022 Guidelines put a larger focus on the duties of the board and senior management. The obligations of both equally organs, when relevant, are unique.

The board, or the committee delegated by it, have to assure that:

  • the proven BCM framework is ready to manage possible operational disruptions and to meet the FI’s business requirements and obligations
  • a BCM purpose is proven and adequately resourced to oversee the organisation-large implementation of the BCM framework and realize the ideal condition of business continuity preparedness
  • senior administration, which is accountable for executing the FI’s BCM framework, has ample authority, competency, assets, and entry to the board
  • the efficiency of the BCM framework is often reviewed and evaluated in opposition to external gatherings, changes in possibility profiles and business priorities, or new procedures, units, or products or products and services and
  • an independent audit is done to evaluate the success of controls, chance administration and governance of the FI’s business continuity preparedness.

As for senior administration, they have the duty to make sure:

  • the BCM framework is set up to help and control the advancement, implementation, and routine maintenance of powerful BCPs and steps, using into thing to consider third parties’ recovery arrangements
  • audio and prudent procedures, specifications and methods for controlling operational disruptions are proven and taken care of, and specifications and techniques are executed proficiently
  • roles and tasks for preserving the FI’s business continuity preparedness are set up and described obviously
  • measurable ambitions and metrics are utilised to evaluate the FI’s all round business continuity preparedness
  • business products and services and functions that are important to the FI are determined, and their SRTOs and RTOs are commensurate with its business demands and obligations
  • the BCPs and the disaster management and communications framework are tested on a standard basis to validate their efficiency in opposition to extraordinary, but plausible, operational disruption eventualities and confirm that the important business products and services and features are ready to recover in line with their SRTOs and RTOs
  • gaps and weaknesses determined from the FI’s business continuity screening, article-mortems of incidents, audits, or other threat administration programmes (e.g., threat and manage self-assessments) are remediated in a timely manner and
  • a teaching programme is established and reviewed on a yearly basis to ensure that all personnel who have a position in the FI’s BCM are common with their roles and duties.

Senior management should really present an yearly attestation to the board as to the state of the FI’s BCM preparedness, the extent of its alignment with the 2022 Tips, and important concerns requiring the board’s attention, these types of as major residual risk. The attestation should really also be supplied to MAS on ask for.


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