DBS chief Piyush Gupta apologises for bank's worst outage in a decade; full review to be done

SINGAPORE – DBS Bank will conduct a full review of its processes after its worst digital disruptions in a decade left the bank’s customers fuming last week.

Chief executive Piyush Gupta apologised for the service outage, telling the Reuters Next conference on Friday (Dec 3): “The customers have the right to expect more from us and I share their frustration and their pain.”

Account holders could not access their balances or make payments when digital banking services were down for at least two days last week.

Mr Gupta noted that as banks get more digital and technologically advanced, customer expectations also rise.

He said the bank will review its processes and come up with ways to do better.

DBS began encountering issues with its access control servers on Nov 23 that prevented customers logging into bank services. The problem resurfaced the following morning.

DBS said on Nov 25 that logins and transaction activities had returned to normal that morning, although some customers were still facing issues.

The bank said the disruption was not caused by a cyber attack and added that customer data was safe.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said last week that it would consider taking “supervisory action” over the outage.

Financial institutions must ensure that the total unscheduled downtime for critical systems affecting customer services does not exceed four hours within any 12-month period.

Last week’s disruptions were not the first DBS has experienced.

In 2010, MAS took supervisory action when a similar outage took down all consumer and business banking services for more than six hours.

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