MAS issues Guidelines to Strengthen Culture of Responsibility and Ethical Behaviour in the Financial Industry

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued guidelines to strengthen the accountability of senior managers in key functions in financial institutions (FIs) and to promote ethical behaviour in FIs.

The guidelines were accompanied by an information paper on good practices in these areas, MAS said in a press release.

The Guidelines on Individual Accountability and Conduct sets out MAS’ expectations through five high level outcomes for FIs:

  • Outcome 1: Senior managers responsible for managing and conducting the FI’s core functions are clearly identified.
  • Outcome 2: Senior managers are fit and proper for their roles, and held responsible for the actions of their employees and the conduct of the business under their purview.
  • Outcome 3: The FI’s governance framework supports senior managers’ performance of their roles and responsibilities, with a clear and transparent management structure and reporting relationships.
  • Outcome 4: Material risk personnel are fit and proper for their roles, and subject to effective risk governance, and appropriate incentive structures and standards of conduct.
  • Outcome 5: The FI has a framework that promotes and sustains among all employees the desired conduct.

Specific guidance and a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) have also been provided to help FIs achieve the five outcomes.

FIs should also promote a culture of ethical behaviour by strengthening practices in other areas set out in the Information Paper on Culture and Conduct Practices of Financial Institutions. These additional areas include hiring, communication channels, monitoring and assessment, and performance management. The paper contains examples of good practices gathered from a thematic survey and dialogue sessions conducted by MAS with banks, insurers and capital market intermediaries.

FIs should use the guidelines and the guidance in the information paper to develop and entrench a strong culture of responsibility and ethical behaviour within their organisations. MAS will continue to engage FIs, their boards, senior management and other employees on the adequacy and effectiveness of their culture and conduct practices through its ongoing supervision.