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Erroneous deductions affect some Prudential policyholders: MAS

A NUMBER of policyholders of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore experienced GIRO deductions in excess of their insurance premiums or failed GIRO deductions on Thursday.

In a statement late Thursday, Prudential said these erroneous deductions arose from a "technical glitch".

In a separate statement, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that this glitch affecting customers of multiple banks was due to an operational lapse, not a cyber attack.

No further explanations were offered for the erroneous deductions. But feedback from an online forum showed certain bankers have queried their clients over deductions. One policyholder said his premium was S$1,000 but Prudential had sought to deduct S$1 million from his bank account.

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MAS has directed Prudential and its payment bank, Standard Chartered Bank Singapore to effect the return of customer funds without delay, to keep customers updated, and to investigate the root cause of the incident.

"We take a serious view of such operational lapses and will take follow-up supervisory measures where appropriate," it said.

Prudential said that it is working with its banking partner to credit the relevant amount deducted back to its customers' accounts within the next 24 hours.

"Any interest lost will be refunded and any erroneous charges will be reversed as soon as possible," it added.

Affected customers may call Prudential's hotline at 1800-333-0333. Prudential also said it would be posting updates on its Facebook page and website.