Parliamentary Replies
Published Date: 30 November 2022

Reply to Parliamentary Question on banks making offers to scam victims


NOTICE PAPER 1560 OF 2022 


Date: For Parliament Sitting on 30 November 2022

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Yeo Wan Ling, MP, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC


To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether the Government is aware of banks offering alleged scam victims offers of final settlement which can be significantly lower than the scammed amount, while police investigations are ongoing; and (b) whether the Government will consider regulating this practice to ensure that scam victims who accept such offers are nonetheless not precluded from commencing further claims to recover their money when investigations conclude that the banks are at fault for allowing the scams to succeed.

Answer by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS:

1. MAS expects banks to treat customers fairly. When handling cases of suspected scams, the banks must promptly investigate the relevant transactions performed. They must consider whether they have fulfilled their own obligations, and whether customers had done their part to protect their own accounts. The Police will also investigate the scam, but they do not determine the culpability of the banks in allowing the scam to succeed.

2. Depending on the outcome of the banks’ investigations, they may offer goodwill payments to customers. In such cases, banks are expected to give customers sufficient time to consider any such offer. A customer may decline an offer if he is not satisfied with it. He may then approach the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre (FIDReC) for mediation and adjudication. FIDReC is an independent and impartial institution that provides a low-cost dispute resolution service for financial institutions and their customers. 

3. Any customer who accepts an offer of goodwill payment will be bound by the terms of the offer. Should new information come to light that is materially different from the premise upon which the customer accepted an offer from the bank, it is within the customer’s rights to request the bank to relook the case, or approach FIDReC for assistance.

4. MAS is working with other government agencies to design a fair and effective framework for shared responsibility amongst relevant parties when a scam occurs, and one which incentivises each party to be vigilant against scams. This will complement the processes mentioned earlier.

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