SINGAPORE (Mar 14): The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is implementing a number of measures from its new transformational roadmap for its data collection approach from financial institutions.

The measures will take effect from March 31 and are intended to eliminate all duplication in data requests by end-2019, automate data submission and explore the implementation of granular data collection.  

To ensure the non-duplication of data requests, MAS intends to enshrine data reusability – the ability to use data collected once for multiple purposes – in its data collection approach, such that financial institutions need not submit the same data to MAS twice.

The institutions will also be allowed to decline any request from MAS for structured data which they have previously provided in their regulatory submissions. This treatment will be extended, in subsequent phases, to other data submitted to MAS through surveys and one-off requests, adds the central bank.

Another goal of the transformation roadmap is to automate data submission by financial institutions by making such submissions machine-readable.

As such, all new regulatory returns from financial institutions to MAS from 1 April this year will have to be in machine-readable formats, with this requirement to be extended to new surveys and ad-hoc data requests from 2019 onwards.

In a Tuesday statement, MAS highlights the collection of machine-readable data as a key element of its plans to automate the data collection process in its bid to increase efficiency by removing the need for manual processes and reduce the risk of human errors.

It intends to seek feedback from financial institutions on providing data in the machine-readable templates prior to 2019, and take into account this feedback before the second phase of implementation.  

Lastly, MAS says it will also change how it defines its data requirements by working with the industry to determine the appropriate levels of granularity in its data collection.

For data that can be aggregated in different ways, the authority intends to collect more detailed data on the underlying transactions instead of the aggregate statistics – hence enabling it to manipulate the datasets internally according to its analytical needs, while reducing the reporting burden on financial institutions.

“MAS is doing a fundamental review of its data collection approach. We will implement these measures in close partnership with the financial industry within a reasonable timeframe. MAS will also upgrade our data collection infrastructure to support these changes,” says David Hardoon, Chief Data Officer, MAS.

“This is an opportunity for both MAS and financial institutions to co-create an industry data collection platform that not only benefits MAS as a regulator, but also allows financial institutions to leverage the data collected to improve their operations,” he adds.