What Is The Monetary Authority of Singapore?
As Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, it’s vital that financial institutions understand what the Monetary Authority of Singapore is, and how it functions…
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was established in 1970 by act of government, beginning operations as the country’s central bank, and financial regulatory authority, on 1 January 1971. Prior to its introduction, the monetary functions of Singapore’s central bank were performed by separate government departments. As the complexity of modern banking increased, however, and Singapore’s financial profile grew, the inefficiencies of co-ordinating between financial departments became evident – creating a need for coherence and uniformity which only a centralized administrative body could provide. Following the Monetary Authority of Singapore Bill (passed on 2 September 1970) MAS was brought into being.
What does MAS do?
MAS’ role on Singapore’s financial landscape is to not only regulate and supervise the financial sector but to promote and sustain economic growth. MAS is governed by a board of directors and chaired by Singapore’s Minister for Finance. As a government institution, MAS operates by a strict code of conduct and considers certain core values, including a commitment to professionalism, integrity, and fairness, of paramount importance.
In its regulatory capacity, MAS oversees every aspect of monetary policy, banking and finance in Singapore, including matters relating to the insurance industry. According to its mandate, MAS’ role as central bank involves:
- Conducting monetary policy, including issuing currency and overseeing payment systems.
- Serving as a financial agent and banker to the government of Singapore by providing it with facilities in which to deposit money, and to transact with international financial institutions, such as the World Bank.
- Conducting supervision of Singapore’s financial services, and surveillance of the country’s financial stability.
- Managing Singapore’s foreign reserves and assets.
- Developing Singapore’s status as an international financial center.
The role MAS plays in the economic and professional profile of Singapore is significant. The actions MAS takes to regulate and supervise the country’s financial landscape is a foundation of its reputation as an international business hub, and the esteem in which it is held by the international community.