MAS instructs financial firms to adopt safe distancing measures

Various guidelines will ensure adequate distance among customers and employees

MAS instructs financial firms to adopt safe distancing measures

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued an advisory to all financial institutions (FIs) in Singapore, urging them to them to implement safe distancing measures in all aspects of their business operations, especially customer touch points. 

This move is part of the Singapore government’s efforts to reduce the risk of further local transmission of COVID-19.

In the advisory, the MAS laid out several guidelines and also told FIs to follow relevant instructions from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Manpower, and Enterprise Singapore. These will help safeguard customers’ health and the continued resilience of the financial sector amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to MAS, FIs should reduce traffic at customer facing locations. For customer-facing locations such as bank branches and customer service centres, FIs should actively encourage all customers to use electronic platforms for financial transactions, where available.

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

  • Limiting the number of people waiting at the premises and ensuring a separation of at least one metre between customers.
  • Prioritising service to vulnerable customers, such as the elderly or pregnant women, to reduce their time spent at these locations.
  • Collecting details of visitors for contact tracing purposes.

FIs were also ordered to cancel or postpone all non-critical events such as marketing and promotional roadshows, as well as investment or education seminars.

Aside from customers, distancing measures for FI’s employees were also provided. These include adopting arrangements to allow employees to work from home or at another location, where possible; wider physical spacing of at least one metre between staff at workstations, meeting rooms, or other common areas; 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,” the regulator said.

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