MAS to cut down on duplication in data requests

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has devised a road map that will progressively cut down on duplication in data requests.

The road map, which takes effect from March 31, will help financial institutions reduce the resources and preparation time needed to produce data requested by the MAS. This will make it more efficient for the central bank to process and analyse the data collected.

The measures aim to ensure that financial institutions need not submit the same data twice.

In addition, institutions will be allowed to decline any request from MAS for structured data they have previously provided in their regular regulatory submissions to it.

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

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.

MAS will seek feedback from financial institutions on providing data in the machine-readable templates prior to next year and take it into account before the second phase of implementation, MAS said.

The third measure will see changes to how MAS defines its data requirements.

Its 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.

Ms Koh Ching Ching, OCBC Bank's head of group corporate communications, said: "Digitising data collection will help 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 Bank, added: "Even if we have to make short-term changes to systems and processes, investing in data infrastructure and quality is the way forward."