MAS proposes measures to improve corporate governance framework

by May Wong, for Channel New Asia, March 18, 2010.

SINGAPORE : The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has proposed measures to improve corporate governance at local banks and insurers.

The proposals stress the importance of the board’s role and the need for directors to have the right skills.

MAS is calling for public feedback on its proposals by April 19.

The economic crisis has raised the need for stronger corporate governance.

Now, the MAS is proposing 12 measures to ensure more independence and expertise at the board level.

One proposal is to consider directors non-independent if they have served nine years continuously on the board.

Associate Professor Mak Yuen Teen from NUS Business School said this is a good move because “over time, once directors serve there for too long, they tend to become too close to management, to the company.

“And the other thing about serving too long is that after a while, you get ‘stale’, you look at the same thing over and over again…and therefore, I think renewal is extremely important, and it is something not only financial institutions, but all boards should be looking at.”

Another proposal is for financial institutions (FIs) to have a dedicated Board Risk Management Committee…(continue reading)

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