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DBS CEO Piyush Gupta apologises for last week's digital banking disruption, says review being done

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta apologises for last week's digital banking disruption, says review being done

DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta attending a conference session at DBS Asia Leadership Dialogue in Singapore on Aug 4, 2016. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta on Friday (Dec 3) apologised to customers for the two-day disruption to digital banking services last week, adding that the bank is reviewing its processes.

"I just want to take the opportunity to say sorry," Mr Gupta said when asked about the disruption during an interview at the virtual Reuters Next conference.

"Our customers have the right to expect more from us and, you know, I share their frustration and their pain."

Many DBS and POSB customers reported over two days last week that they were unable to access online banking services. The disruption started on Tuesday morning and recurred on Wednesday after DBS said services had been restored.

The bank, Southeast Asia's largest lender, said that the disruption was caused by "an issue with (its) access control servers". 

On Friday, Mr Gupta reiterated that there was no cyberattack. He described DBS' access control server as the "front door" to banking services.

"When you want to come in through your mobile bank, that's the first page you're landing at and your identity, your authentication, your passwords are controlled over there," he said.

A "degradation" in the access control server allowed only a small minority of customers to access the banking services, Mr Gupta added.

"But the good news is that everything behind the front door was safe," he said, adding that payment and trading services continued to work during the disruption.

"In fact, if you went to any of our branches or called us on the phone, we could do everything. It was just the front door access that got degraded."

Mr Gupta, who has been at the helm of DBS Group since 2009, said the bank is conducting a "full review of the end-to-end processes" to identify how it can do better.

"As you get more and more digital and you get more and more advanced, the bar on customer expectations and the bar on 99.999 per cent expected uptime will continue to be raised higher," he said in the interview with Reuters senior financial correspondent Anshuman Daga.

"Therefore it is incumbent on all of us as providers to be able to create the resiliency and the capacity to be able to serve and operate at a very high bar."

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has said it will consider "appropriate supervisory actions" following a thorough investigation into the disruption by DBS.

Source: CNA/dv(gs)

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