January 18, 2022
SINGAPORE – OCBC Bank will be conducting a thorough probe to identify the deficiencies in its processes and implement the necessary measures to address them after a spate of SMS phishing scams, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday (Jan 17).
Following the review, MAS, the country’s financial sector regulator, will consider the appropriate supervisory actions.
Nearly 470 customers lost at least $8.5 million to fraudulent fund transfers in December last year after scammers posed as OCBC and sent SMSes with links to phishing sites to victims.
“MAS takes a serious view of the recent phishing scams involving OCBC Bank. They have significantly impacted several customers,” said Ms Ho Hern Shin, MAS’ deputy managing director for financial supervision.
She added that the authority expects “all affected customers to be treated fairly”, noting that OCBC has begun making payouts to victims of the phishing scams following a review of each case.
The financial regulator has also been following up with OCBC on issues relating to the incident, including the bank’s incident response and customer service, which OCBC has acknowledged should have been better.
“MAS expects all financial institutions to have robust measures for fraud prevention, detection and remediation, and to provide prompt assistance to customers who have been victims of scams,” said Ms Ho.
“We are working with the Association of Banks in Singapore on industrywide measures that may need to be taken to ensure that digital banking remains secure, efficient and trusted.”