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MAS issues Covid-19 advisory to financial institutions

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

In a bid to reduce the risk of further local transmission of Covid-19, these institutions have been asked to strengthen measures to follow the latest advisory from MAS and guidance issued by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Manpower and Enterprise Singapore.

MAS said in its statement on Monday that this will also help to "safeguard the health of customers and ensure the financial sector’s continued operational resilience" amid the virus outbreak.

The institutions were urged to reduce traffic in customer-facing locations such as bank branches and customer service centres. They should also actively encourage customers to use electronic platforms for financial transactions, where available. 

Other key measures include limiting the number of people within their premises as well as social distancing by ensuring that customers are at least 1 metre apart. Financial institutions are also advised to prioritise serving vulnerable customers, such as the elderly or pregnant women, to reduce their time spent in the premises. 

Visitors should also submit their details for contact-tracing purposes.

Institutions have also been advised to cancel or defer non-critical events such as marketing and promotional roadshows, as well as investment or education seminars.

As for employees, safe-distancing measures should be adopted to "safeguard the health of employees and ensure business continuity". Such measures include working from home, social distancing or staggering start times for work and lunch hours to avoid overcrowding in building entrances or lift lobbies. 

MAS said: "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."