DBS Apologises for Service Disruptions, Sets Aside S$80 Million for System Resiliency

DBS Apologises for Service Disruptions, Sets Aside S$80 Million for System Resiliency

by November 2, 2023

DBS had issued an apology for the series of digital banking disruptions this year and outlined a comprehensive roadmap to improve its technology resiliency.

The bank said it is addressing the issues at hand with utmost priority and has taken onboard the recommendations of an independent review by Accenture that was completed in August.

The review identified key gaps and deficiencies in four main areas: technology risk governance and oversight, incident management, system resilience, and change management.

To address these areas of weakness, the bank has taken a number of steps, including establishing a new sub-committee of the Board Risk Management Committee called the BRMC Technology Risk Committee (BTRC) to provide dedicated oversight of technology risk.

DBS will also be transferring the Technology Risk Management team to the Risk Management Group, reporting to the Chief Risk Officer, to enhance independent checks and balances.

Additionally, the bank will be splitting the Technology and Operations (T&O) function into two separate units to allow for dedicated management oversight of each.

DBS will be strengthening its site reliability engineering with new leadership with Ho Twee Teng taking the lead as the new Head of Enterprise Architecture Site Reliability Engineering (EASRE) from 18 October.

Improving incident management through clearer ownership and management of incidents within the bank, as well as between the bank and its service providers and vendors.

As directed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), DBS will be instituting a six-month pause on non-essential IT activities to focus on improving technology resiliency. MAS also prohibited DBS from taking on new ventures or reducing the size of its branch and ATM networks during this period.

The bank has also set new service availability targets for three key digital banking services: balance enquiry, overseas payments, and domestic payments. It pledges to limit downtime for each service to no more than an average of 1.5 hours per month over a three-month period.

In the event of a disruption to any of these three services, the bank will seek to recover them on either digibank online, digibank mobile, or PayLah! within three hours. Its 24-month target is to improve recovery time to two hours or less.

Piyush Gupta CEO DBS

Piyush Gupta

Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS said,

“We are deeply sorry for the digital disruptions. Over the years, DBS has focused on digital transformation so as to make banking simple, seamless and effortless. However, we acknowledge that we must now do better to deliver on this, and are taking a multitude of actions across technology governance, people/leadership, systems and processes. We will also be setting aside a special budget of SGD 80 million to enhance system resiliency. Our assurance to customers is that they can expect these actions to deliver concrete improvements in the near term and over time.”