SINGAPORE: On Tuesday (July 4), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) issued a statement saying that the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board has “no intent” to consider using insurance schemes that would protect members who have been victimised by scams.
In Parliament earlier that day, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng had suggested that an insurance scheme that would help in recovering money that had been lost in scams is being considered.
A number of MPs raised questions about cases that involved losses from CPF savings that totalled $124,000.
One question as to whether the Government is considering initiatives such as insurance was asked by Associate Professor Jamus Lim (WP—Sengkang GRC).
“In usual banking-related frauds, insurance plays a big part in helping to recover fraudulent monies. And in this case, CPF is both a mandatory savings scheme, but is also a very, very big supplier. So, it may be possible to secure a fairly competitive insurance rate for the purposes of doing this kind of additional protection,” the MP said.
The Manpower Minister affirmed that “we are considering that part of it” under the Shared Responsibility Framework (SRF) involving financial institutions, the telcos, and other participating entities.
“Currently, the government is engaging very closely with all the different industry stakeholders, and we will continue to do so. There is a plan for a public consultation paper to come up in the third quarter of this year. So I suggest that perhaps at that particular point in time, we can delve deeper into the details,” noted Dr Tan.
MOM clarified in its Tuesday evening statement that insurance schemes are not part of the SRF, which “focuses on strengthening the roles and accountabilities of the key parties who can mitigate the risk of phishing scams and to preserve confidence in digital payments and banking in Singapore.”
The framework also clearly explains the duties of these parties, particularly telcos and financial institutions, and the customers’ responsibility to guard against scams.
MOM added that the framework is a “distinct and separate approach from scam insurance, where a third party provides guarantee of compensation to an insured party, when he or she suffers scam losses.” /TISG