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14 Sep 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Reply View - 2
Range of measures taken as digital banks come into play

We thank Mr Ramamurthy Mahesh Kumar and Mr Phua Kok Hee for their views (MAS needs to educate public on digital banks, Sept 9; and How will digital banks handle customer problems?, Sept 12). We agree it is important that the public understands the differences between the new digital banks and existing banks in Singapore. Most banks here have enhanced their digital service offerings to customers, alongside physical branches and ATMs. The new digital ba......



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12 Sep 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feedback View - 12
How will digital banks handle customer problems?

When we have a banking problem, what we want is to connect to a human and resolve the problem fast, but increasingly, banks are introducing more elaborate menus or, worse, chatbots to their helplines. There are ways, of course, to force the automated customer service eventually to connect you to a human. I expect customer service at digital banks to be worse. Problems that are within the parameters of their programmed menus or chatbots may likely be resolved. ......



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09 Sep 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 6
MAS needs to educate public on digital banks

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently announced that Singapore is open for digital-only banks (MAS spells out criteria for new digital bank licences, Aug 30). It will issue up to two licences for digital full banks, and three for digital wholesale banks. If all goes well, they will start operations by mid-2021. Companies that already have some kind of wallet management as part of their online business will likely show interest. But does t......



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27 Aug 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feedback View - 5
Skirting car-financing rules was common knowledge

I am surprised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) response to a Sunday Times report on car-financing rules, as it appears to give the impression that MAS only learnt of these attempts to circumvent the rules after the report (Attempts to skirt car-financing rules not legitimate, Aug 24). It is well-known that motoring companies have been circumventing existing rules on car-financing by openly advertising in the media about zero per cent down payments and 10-year instal......



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15 Aug 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 108
Review loans to foreign workers

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has recently introduced some restrictions on loans given to foreign workers by money lenders. These restrictions do not appear to work, as the number of loans continue to increase. Some people are calling for a total ban on these loans.  I carried out a poll. 72% of the participants preferred a ban while 28% preferred to leave the decision to the market.  It will be harsh to impose a total ban, as there ma......



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14 Aug 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 67
China government is introducing digital currency

China has a successful cashless payment system involving e-wallets operated by AliPay and WeChat Pay.  Still, the regulatory authority is rolling out their digital currency.  Singapore needs to learn from China about the strategy behind their move towards a digital currency. We need to use digital currency to replace paper currency and improve our payment system and reduce the cost of going business. If China needs finds a need to introduce digital cu......



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20 Jun 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 38
Bring back the $20 note

I agree with Mr Lee Yong Se (Circulate $20 notes, June 14) that there is a big gap between our $10 and $50 notes and we need something in between. However, making the bicentennial $20 note mainstream is not the solution. It will rob these special notes of their intrinsic value as a souvenir and collector's item. Perhaps the Monetary Authority of Singapore could instead print and issue a new $20 note and bring it back into......



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18 Jun 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 17
Let every Singaporean have bicentennial $20 note

It is heartening to know that more Singapore Bicentennial $20 notes will be issued later this year (Two million more bicentennial $20 notes to be issued, June 15). It must have been very disappointing for many who queued up for hours only to be turned away because the banks ran out of these commemorative notes to mark our nation's bicentennial year. It is disheartening to read that some members of the public who managed to exchange thes......



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07 Jun 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 232
Authorised body to manage escrow accounts

A lawyer went missing after mismanaging an escrow account. The control in the lawyer firm is lax.  It is better to set up a public body to manage escrow accounts for a fee. With a large organization, it is easier to ensure that the escrow agreement is properly drafted and that all payments from the escrow account are properly authorized. Alternatively, a few large organizations can be appointed to manage the escrow accounts for a r......



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31 May 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feedback View - 9
Finger print authentication may not be safe

In the past, I have to give my user ID, password and provide a 2FA authentication to log into my banking account or SingPass. The 2FA authentication is on a separate device, and not on the primary device used for login. I was surprised to learn that it is now possible for me to login to my bank account or to SingPass just with a fingerprint and on the same device. What ha......



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31 May 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 246
Irrational fear of exposing bank account number

Singaporeans have an irrational fear of exposing their bank account numbers. They fear that a crook may use that account number to access their account and take money from them.  This fear is irrational for the following reasons: a) The crook cannot access a bank account with this number. To access a bank account the crook needs to have the login ID, password and 2FA device. The login ID is not even the bank account number. ......



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30 May 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 113
Change bank statement and practice

When I send out an invoice, I show my bank account number. I asked my customer to pay me by bank transfer into that bank account. I do not want to receive a cheque. If I receive a cheque, my staff has to go to the bank to bank it into our bank account. It takes the time of my staff - which is costly. I get my money later. If I receive a cheque, my staff has to go to the bank to bank it into our bank account. It takes the time of my st......



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30 May 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 82
Wasteful way to collect payment

The manager of a security firm told me that she has to send an invoice monthly to the client and get the staff to call the client to chase for payment. After a few calls, the client said that the cheque is ready. The security firm sends the relationship manager to collect the cheque. She said - it is okay to visit. It helps to build relationship. This is how o......



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29 May 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 85
Bank account numbers should be used transparently

Two years ago, I met a senior manager of an insurance company. He told me - Mr. Tan, why do many people make payment by cheques? I came from Spain and throughout my life, i have never written any queue. How did he make payment? By bank transfer. Most suppliers happily provide their bank account number to their customers to make payment by bank transfer into their bank. Th......



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01 May 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feedback View - 13
Concern over new rules on e-payments

I am deeply concerned about the changes being introduced by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on e-payment transactions (Consumers can set own limits for e-payment alerts; April 26). Fraud involving e-payments is of great concern to bank customers. The new MAS rules appear to push liability onto the customer in virtually all cases. The bank will be under strict duty to send a notification of a transaction to the c......



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07 Apr 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feedback View - 172
The future of blockchain

Two years ago, my friend was enthusiastic about blockchain. He explained the concept to me. He attended a course on blockchain and was excited about it.  MAS was also excited about the potential of blockchain. My friend gave me some technical references. I did not like it. I found it to be an expensive and inefficient way to achieve "independence from a third party".br data-tex......



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05 Apr 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Negative View - 411
Investor (foreigner) asked about Hyflux

Dear Mr. Tan, This is to thank you for your speech at Hong Lim Park. I watched it on YouTube yesterday. I am a German national, who while residing in Singapore some years ago, bought some Hyflux perpetual bonds, which I am partly still holding. Also myself was considering it to be a strategic company for Singapore. Additional, the fact that it was a retail bond made me believe that it would be a general saf......



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05 Apr 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 12
Timely to encourage retail bond market

In the wake of the Hyflux debacle, it is perhaps time for the Monetary Authority of Singapore to consider tightening regulations around the issue of perpetual securities and preference shares by companies in favour of retail bonds (Investors can still demand probe if they back plan: Sias, April 2). There are three good reasons for doing so. First, it helps to develop a retail bond market. Bonds are an important part of a retirement port......



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30 Mar 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feedback View - 9
MAS does not track the funds flowing into and out of banks in Singapore

We refer to Professor Sattar Bawany's letter (Questions for MAS on 1MDB, March 23). Among other things, Prof Bawany asked whether the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was alerted to 1MDB-related funds being transferred from a Singapore bank to a Malaysian bank account and how much money belonging to Malays......



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30 Mar 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 186
Approval of securities for sale to retail investors

In 2016, Hyflux issued $500 million in perpetual securities that were offered to non-savvy retail investors.  A 197 page prospectus were lodged with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and with the Singapore Exchange for the sale of these securities. There was a statement in the prospectus that MAS does not make any opinion of the suitability of the securities. However, this statement was probably not noticed by most investors.&nbs......



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28 Mar 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 69
Require PIN for credit card transactions

It is extremely perplexing that credit card issuers in Singapore still have not given card holders the option of requiring a PIN, or personal identification number, to make credit card transactions (Man arrested over $18k in unauthorised card transactions, March 23). We know all to......



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23 Mar 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feedback View - 10
Questions for MAS on 1MDB

I am delighted to note that as a result of the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) thorough investigations into Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), "two Swiss private banks were shuttered and several other banks were fined a total of $30 million for failing to meet anti-money laundering standards" (Singapore's 1MDB probe n......



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23 Mar 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 151
Were there disclosure lapses in issue of Hyflux securities?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and Singapore Exchange will look into the possibility of disclosure lapses when Hyflux issued its preference shares in 2011 and perpetual securities in 2017. Did the board of Hyflux and the financial advisers involved in these issues made adequate disclosures of the financial position of Hyflux at the relevant times?  There was also the need to have "continuous disclosures" of the finan......



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21 Mar 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 145
Exclusion of cover for drink driving under motor policy

Under Singapore law, it is compulsory for a vehicle owner to take up an insurance policy to cover liability to third parties arising from the use of the vehicle. If the vehicle causes personal injury to a third party or damage to their property of a third party, the insurance policy pays the compensation payable to the third party. This is to ensure that third party are protected, in case the owner of the vehicle does not have the financial means to p......



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18 Mar 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feedback View - 424
Are the investors greedy?

34,000 retail investors are likely to lose up to 90% of their investment in Hyflux preference shares and perpetual securities.  This will be a painful loss.  To make matters worse, some people said that these investors are "greedy". They are buying an unrated securities paying an interest rate of 6% per annum. Surely, they should know that these securities are risky? But the investors replied that 6% is not real......



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18 Mar 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Negative View - 415
A dishonest practice by a bank?

Dear Mr. Tan I wish to share this experience with my bank. I think that the bank is acting dishonestly. I placed my fixed deposit with them a few years ago. The relationship manager advised me to set the fixed deposit to mature at the end of the term and to redeposit it at the rate at that time. She advised me not to use the auto-renew feature as the auto-renewal is at the board rate, which is much lower than the rate for......



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23 Feb 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feedback View - 449
Why was the Hyflux perpetual securities allowed to be sold to retail investors?

Someone asked me to raise this questions - why was the perpetual securities allowed to be sold to retail investors? He said that they are high risks and many of the retail investors are not sophisticated enough to be able to assess the risk. These securities are more suitable for institutional investors who are able to assess the risk and to make an informed judgment.  He said that the regulator, i.e. the Monetary Au......



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15 Feb 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feedback View - 162
The harmful financial industry

There are more individuals working in the financial sector than those in the farming industry. Without the latter we all probably be eating grass. That said, of the thousands of financial companies that purport to have the skills to create wealth or at least preserved wealth for their clients; in reality, I read somewhere, that more than 80% either lose money for their clients or achieve returns that are lower than the stock index. Eith......



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15 Feb 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 317
Investing on leverage

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS Sometimes during 2009, a retired couple approached me. They had invested $200,000 with a local bank and had lost $100,000 during the Global Financial Crisis. I learned that they were long time customers of that bank and had been advised by the bank's relationship management to invest in dual currency investment. The bank offered them a loan of 4 times of their invested sum. They were able to invest in dual......



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24 Jan 2019
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Suggestion View - 49
Double standard in verifying identity when banks call

Recently, I received a call from my bank. The person at the other end asked for the details of my bank account to finalise a transaction. After the call, I realised that I was never presented an opportunity to verify the identity of the caller. I took him at his word. Fortunately, I was aware of that transaction that he had called about, so I trusted that he was indeed m......



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