MAS to Enhance Consultations with Industry and Public on Major Policy Initiatives
Singapore, 22 October 2002. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today announced that it would formalise guidelines governing industry and public consultation and implementation of MAS-administered legislation. These guidelines ensure that industry or public consultation and publication of MAS' responses become standard procedures when significant changes are introduced in the regulatory framework for financial services. This would enable market practitioners and the public to provide timely feedback to the MAS in developing sound and responsive regulations for the financial sector. MAS will work towards implementing the guidelines by the end of the year.
2 Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Asia-Pacific Summit 2002 in Singapore today, Deputy Prime Minister and MAS Chairman Lee Hsien Loong said that the government is working towards raising levels of transparency through consultation and collaboration with the private sector. "Consultation lengthens the policy-making process and entails commitment of effort and resources on the part of the industry and the public. But it also helps to pre-empt implementation problems, minimise unintended consequences, and foster better industry understanding and support," said DPM Lee. The new guidelines on consultation are:
There will be a presumption in favour of public consultation for significant changes in the regulatory framework governing the financial sector.
MAS will conduct public or industry consultations on regulatory changes of general applicability, and will summarise industry/public feedback and the Authority's responses on the MAS' website at www.mas.gov.sg, unless confidentiality is requested.
MAS-administered legislation and application procedures will be promptly posted on the MAS website. MAS will acknowledge and process new license applications on a timely basis.
The exceptions to public consultation would include situations where the regulatory changes are emergency measures, or if advance notice would erode the effectiveness of these changes or compromise the stability of the financial system.
3 MAS has been actively consulting the industry and public on key policy initiatives in recent years, such as the Securities and Futures Act, the Financial Advisers Act, amendments to the Banking Act, and corporate governance measures. The new consultation guidelines take into account feedback from market participants on the need to allow adequate time for consultation and the importance for MAS to provide feedback to the comments received.? The new guidelines address these issues and further improve transparency in the development and application of financial regulations.
4 The guidelines also include requirements for MAS to provide adequate time for comments from the public or industry on proposed regulatory changes and publish responses to feedback received during such consultation.? Recent examples of publishing responses to industry feedback on the MAS website include the deposit insurance scheme and regulations relating to banks' private equity and venture capital investments. "Over time, these changes will further improve the operating environment for the financial sector," DPM Lee said.