MAS Tells Financial Institutions to Adopt Safe Distancing to Prevent COVID-19 Risks

MAS Tells Financial Institutions to Adopt Safe Distancing to Prevent COVID-19 Risks

by March 26, 2020
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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued today an advisory to all financial institutions (FIs) in Singapore, telling them to implement safe distancing measures in all aspects of their business operations, especially customer touch points. This is part of the national effort to reduce the risk of further local transmission of COVID-19.

FIs were asked to strengthen their measures to meet the latest advisory from MAS, as well as the relevant guidance issued by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Manpower and Enterprise Singapore. This will help to safeguard the health of customers and ensure the financial sector’s continued operational resilience during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Reduce Traffic at Customer Facing Locations

To reduce traffic at customer facing locations (e.g. bank branches, customer service centres, etc), FIs should actively encourage all customers to use electronic platforms for financial transactions, where available (e.g. internet or mobile banking such as PayNow and PayNow Corporate and other e-payment services)

Other key measures that FIs should adopt at customer facing locations include:

a) limiting the number of people waiting at the premises and ensuring a separation of at least one metre between customers;

b) prioritising service to vulnerable customers, such as the elderly or pregnant women, to reduce their time spent at these locations; and

c) collecting details of visitors for contact tracing purposes.

Cancel or Defer All Physical Events

FIs should cancel or defer all non-critical events such as marketing and promotional roadshows, as well as investment or education seminars.

Promote Safer Workplace

To safeguard the health of employees and ensure business continuity, FIs should adopt safe distancing measures at workplaces, including:

a) arrangements to allow employees to work from home, or at another location, where possible;

b) wider physical spacing of at least one metre between staff at workstations, meeting rooms or other common areas; and

c) staggering of start times for work and lunch hours to avoid congestion at building entrances and lift lobbies.

MAS will continue to work closely with the industry to ensure that Singapore’s financial sector remains resilient and contributes to the national effort against COVID-19.

Featured image credit: MAS

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