The Monetary Authority of Singapore (Abbreviation: MAS; Chinese: 新加坡金融管理局; Malay: Penguasa Kewangan Singapura) is Singapore's central bank and financial regulatory authority. It administers the various statutes pertaining to money, banking, insurance, securities and the financial sector in general, as well as currency
As Singapore's central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) promotes sustained, non-inflationary economic growth through appropriate monetary policy formulation and close macroeconomic surveillance of emerging trends and potential vulnerabilities. It manages Singapore's exchange rate
, foreign reserves and liquidity in the banking sector.
MAS is also an integrated supervisor overseeing all financial institutions in Singapore - banks, insurers, capital market intermediaries, financial advisers, and the stock exchange. With its mandate to foster a sound and progressive financial services sector in Singapore, MAS also helps shape Singapore's financial industry by promoting a strong corporate governance framework and close adherence to international accounting standards.
In addition, it spearheads retail investor education. MAS ensures that Singapore's financial industry remains vibrant, dynamic and competitive by working closely with other government agencies and financial institutions to develop and promote Singapore as a regional and international financial center.
Prior to 1970, the various monetary functions associated with a central bank were performed by several government departments and agencies. As Singapore progressed, the demands of an increasingly complex banking and monetary environment necessitated streamlining the functions to facilitate the development of a more dynamic and coherent policy on monetary matters. Therefore in 1970, Parliament passed the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act leading to the formation of MAS on 1 January 1971. The passing of the MAS Act gave MAS the authority to regulate the financial services sector in Singapore.
The MAS has been given powers to act as a banker to and financial agent of the Government. It has also been entrusted to promote monetary stability, and credit and exchange policies conducive to the growth of the economy.
In April 1977, the Government decided to bring the regulation of the insurance industry under the wing of the MAS. The regulatory functions under the Securities Industry Act (1973) were also transferred to MAS in September 1984.
The MAS now administers the various statutes pertaining to money, banking, insurance, securities and the financial sector in general. Following its merger with the Board of Commissioners of Currency on 1 October 2002, the MAS has also assumed the function of currency issuance.
"To promote sustained non-inflationary economic growth, and a sound and progressive financial center".
- To act as the central bank of Singapore, including the conduct of monetary policy, the issuance of currency, the oversight of payment systems and serving as banker to and financial agent of the Government;
- To conduct integrated supervision of financial services and financial stability surveillance;
- To manage the official foreign reserves of Singapore;
- To develop Singapore as an international financial center.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has operational autonomy. Under the MAS Act, the Board of Directors of MAS is appointed by the President. The Chairman of the Board is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Cabinet.
The Board of Directors is responsible for the policy and general administration of the affairs and business of MAS and informs the Government of the regulatory, supervisory and monetarism policies of the MAS. The Board is ultimately accountable to the Parliament of Singapore through the Minister-in-charge of MAS.
Groups and Departments
- Monetary Policy and Investment
- The Economic Policy Group is responsible for the surveillance and forecasting of the domestic and external economies, monetary policy formulation and economic research in MAS. There are two departments in the group which work closely together on these functions, and collaborate on in-depth studies.
- The Economic Analysis Department maintains the macroeconomic model of the Singapore economy, and conducts in-depth analysis of price and labour market dynamics.
- The Economic Surveillance and Forecasting Department undertakes surveillance of the domestic and international economies, and provides analysis and forecasts to support monetary policy decisions.
- Markets and Investment Group
- The Monetary and Domestic Markets Management Department is responsible for implementing Singapore’s monetary policy by managing the exchange rate within its targeted policy band, conducting money market operations to manage liquidity in the banking system, and issuing Singapore Government Securities. The department is also responsible for maintaining the stability and functionality of the foreign exchange and money markets in Singapore, as well as fostering the development of Singapore dollar markets.
- The Reserve Management Department is responsible for the management of Singapore’s official foreign reserves. It seeks to achieve good investment returns within prudent risk parameters. The department operates directly in the major bond and currency markets globally and works actively with independent external fund managers across a range of investment mandates.
- Development Group
- The Financial Center Development Department is responsible for developing Singapore as an international financial center. It identifies financial activities and capabilities that contribute to the strategic importance and growth of the financial center.
- The Financial Markets Strategy Department focuses on the development of capital markets products, financing instruments and financial market infrastructure in Singapore. It develops strategies pertaining to the development of Singapore as Asia’s leading financing and risk management center and positioning Singapore as the leading market place serving the financial community in the region.
- Banking and Insurance Group
- The three Banking Departments collectively supervise licensed and regulated banks, merchant banks, finance companies, money changers and remittance agents in Singapore. Broadly, Banking Department I supervises the local banking groups on a consolidated basis, and certain foreign banks. Banking Department II supervises a mix of retail and wholesale banks, finance companies, money changers and remittance agents. It also houses the Supervisory, Methodologies, Transactions and Analytics Division. Banking Department III generally supervises banks active in treasury and private banking businesses. The departments together help foster the stability and strength of Singapore's financial system by monitoring the safety and soundness of the banks and other financial institutions that they supervise, and promoting the adoption of international best practices in corporate governance and risk management.
- The Insurance Department administers the Insurance Act and has as its primary objective the protection of policyholders' interests. The department adopts a risk-focused approach in the prudential and market conduct supervision of insurance companies. The department carries out its responsibilities by way of both on and off-site supervision, and works with foreign supervisors as part of a holistic supervisory approach. In its standards setting role, the department works closely with industry associations to promote the adoption of best practices by the industry.
- Capital Markets Group
- The Capital Markets Department has supervisory responsibility for capital markets through the administration of the Securities and Futures Act, the Business Trusts Act and the Singapore Code on Take-overs and Mergers. It regulates:
SGX as a listed entity It also enforces the civil penalty regime for market misconduct.
- The offering of securities; business trusts, Real Estate Investment Trusts and collective investment schemes;
- Trading of securities and derivatives products;
- Securities and futures market operators and clearing houses;
- The conduct of takeover transactions;
The department formulates and implements market and business conduct policies to achieve fair outcomes for depositors, investors, and policyholders. It is also responsible for formulating MAS' positions on competition issues and corporate governance standards.
- The Capital Markets Intermediaries Department has responsibility for the admission and supervision of capital markets intermediaries, including securities dealers and futures brokers, fund managers, corporate finance advisers, and financial advisers. It administers the licensing and business conduct rules for these intermediaries under the Securities and Futures Act, and Financial Advisers Act. The department is also responsible for regulating insurance brokers under Part IIB of the Insurance Act.
- The Investment Intermediaries Department has responsibility for the admission and supervision of investment intermediaries, including fund managers, Real Estate Investment Trusts managers and trust companies. It administers the licensing and business conduct rules for these intermediaries under the Securities and Futures Act and Trust Companies Act.
- Policy, Risk and Surveillance Group
- The Macroeconomic Surveillance Department conducts surveillance of the financial system to identify emerging trends and potential vulnerabilities, and closely monitors and evaluates developments in G-3 and regional economies, as well as international financial markets. The department undertakes in-depth policy-relevant studies on macro-financial linkages, systemic risk and other financial stability issues. It works closely with MAS supervisory departments to ensure that both macro and micro-prudential perspectives are brought to bear on financial stability issues.
- The Prudential Policy Department formulates capital and prudential policies for banks, insurance companies and securities firms to promote a sound and dynamic financial sector in Singapore. In the area of capital policy, the department develops capital standards for the financial sector, including MAS’ approach on the implementation of Basel III. It also formulates MAS’ policies on housing loans and unsecured credit, concentration limits, and the deposit insurance and policy owners’ protection schemes. It reviews MAS’ policy on banking structures and strengthens the regulatory frameworks for banks, merchant banks, finance companies, and financial holding companies. In addition, the department supports MAS’ participation at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Financial Stability Board, Joint Forum, and other international standard-setting bodies in the area of prudential regulation.
- The Specialist Risk Department provides risk expertise for the effective prudential supervision of Singapore's financial sector. The department monitors and assesses the risk management processes and controls of individual financial institutions and designated payment systems. It also keeps track of systemic macro prudential risks of the financial industry and formulates efficient approaches to deal with the risks identified. Areas of focus include:
- Financial risks comprising credit, market, liquidity and operational risks;
- Technology risk including IT systems and security controls;
- Business continuity management;
- Payment systems and infrastructure.
- Currency, Corporate Services & Human Resource Group
- The Corporate Services Department formulates, implements and reviews MAS' corporate services policies, with the aim of optimizing corporate resources, providing cost-effective solutions, delivering excellent customer-concentric services and providing a secure environment for staff to work in. In support of MAS' organisational and business needs, the functions of the department comprises the areas of logistics, administration, events management, property, tenancy management, building maintenance and physical security control.
- The Currency Department is responsible for the issuance of currency and administration of the Currency Act. It maintains the integrity, confidence and quality of the Singapore currency and proactively manages the currency-in-circulation and stock to meet public demand. The department works closely with the banks and security couriers to ensure efficient distribution and collection of the Singapore currency. The department also issues numismatic notes and coins to cater to collectors and commemorate significant events. The department is responsible for the design and development of currency notes and coins, in consultation with the Singapore Note and Coin Advisory Committee.
Besides currency, the department also oversees the project management and administration of our national payment system, MAS Electronic Payment System (MEPS+), as well as the Singapore Clearing House Association and Automated Clearing House. In addition, it drives payment initiatives to promote adoption of e-payments in Singapore.
- The Human Resource Department formulates and implements MAS' human resource management policies. It is responsible for attracting talent for the organisation, managing and retaining staff through a fair performance appraisal system and a competitive remuneration package, as well as developing talent through needs-based training and development programmes.
- Finance, IT and Risk Group
- The Finance Department manages MAS' financial resources. It performs financial and management accounting as well as settlements and custody operations to support our investment activities. The department also provides accounting and financial services to Financial Sector Development Fund.
- The Information Technology Department promotes the strategic use of technology and provides IT services to the organisation. The department also manages two nation-wide financial networks, namely the MASNET and the MAS Electronic Payment System (MEPS). The networks provide the infrastructure for efficient electronic communication and collaboration in the financial sector, and minimize payment risks for Singapore's banking system, respectively.
- The Risk Management Department facilitates the development of policies and strategies to mitigate MAS’ business continuity and enterprise-wide risks, as well as the financial risks of MAS' global investments. It collaborates closely with government agencies and industry stakeholders to strengthen MAS and industry’s crisis management preparedness, and assists the MAS Board's Risk Committee in providing oversight and guidance on the management of organization-wide risks.
Monetary Policy and Economics
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) carries out the full range of central banking functions related to the formulation and implementation of monetary policy.
MAS’ monetary policy objective is price stability over the medium-term as the basis of sustainable economic growth. As monetary policy in Singapore is centered on the management of the trade-weighted exchange rate, MAS carries out foreign exchange operations to ensure that the Singapore dollar nominal effective exchange rate remains within the policy band.
MAS also conducts money market operations to provide sufficient liquidity for a well-functioning banking system and to meet banks' demand for reserve and settlement balances.
International and Regional Financial Cooperation
In keeping with Singapore’s role as a key financial center in the region, MAS plays an active role in international and regional fora, contributing to discussions on maintaining global financial stability and shaping international financial regulatory reforms. MAS is a member of several major regional groupings such as the Executives' Meeting of East Asia-Pacific Central Banks (EMEAP) and ASEAN Central Bank Governors Meetings. We are also members of global bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and international standard setting bodies such as the Basel Committee of Banking Supervision (BCBS), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
MAS works closely with our counterparts as we carry out our duties as Singapore’s central bank and financial sector regulator. We have developed close bonds not only with our ASEAN and Asia-Pacific counterparts – including China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand - but also with our counterparts further abroad such as the US Federal Reserve Board, European Central Bank, and key European and Latin American central banks and regulators.
- Currency of Singapore:
- Singapore dollar
- List of Central Banks:
- Central Banks
- Official website of Monetary Authority of Singapore:
- Ministry of Finance of Singapore: