MAS published amendments to Notice 648 on the issuance of covered bonds by banks incorporated in Singapore. Notice 648 sets out the requirements that banks must comply with when issuing covered bonds. These include cover pool assets and encumbrance limit, risk management requirements, and notification requirements. The amendments to this notice raise the encumbrance limit from 4% to 10% and clarify the requirements for banks’ computation of their total assets. MAS Notice 648 (Amendment) 2020 has been issued pursuant to section 55 of the Banking Act (Cap. 19) and shall take effect on October 16, 2020.
In this notice, “covered bonds” means any bonds, notes, or other debentures issued by a bank or a special purpose vehicle where payment of the liabilities to the holders of such covered bonds and any liabilities arising from the enforcement of the rights of the holders of the covered bonds are secured by a cover pool and are recoverable from the bank, regardless of whether the cover pool is sufficient to pay off such liabilities. Only a bank incorporated in Singapore may issue covered bonds in Singapore. A bank incorporated outside Singapore must not issue any covered bonds through its branch in Singapore. A bank incorporated in Singapore must furnish to MAS, at least one month prior to the issuance of covered bonds, information on its covered bond program in writing, including the type of assets that will be included in the cover pool under the covered bond program and sign-off from its board and senior management on the covered bond program. The bank must provide, at the minimum, information on the size, tenure, and terms of the issuance and the amount of assets used to back the covered bonds.
Effective Date: October 16, 2020
Keywords: Asia Pacific, Singapore, Banking, Securities, Covered Bonds, Notice 648, Special Purpose Vehicle, MAS
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