Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the central bank and financial regulatory authority of Singapore. Established in 1971, MAS is responsible for implementing monetary policy, managing the country's foreign reserves, promoting financial stability, and fostering the development and growth of the financial sector.

MAS has several primary functions:

  1. Monetary Policy: MAS conducts monetary policy by targeting the exchange rate of the Singapore dollar rather than focusing on interest rates, as many central banks do. The exchange rate is managed within a policy band against a basket of currencies, allowing for stability and flexibility. This approach supports Singapore's open economy, which relies heavily on trade and investment.
  2. Financial Stability: MAS oversees and maintains the stability of Singapore's financial system. It monitors and manages risks, ensuring that financial institutions operate prudently and maintain sufficient capital buffers. MAS also supervises payment systems and enforces regulations to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.
  3. Financial Regulation and Supervision: MAS is responsible for the regulation and supervision of all financial institutions in Singapore, including banks, insurance companies, securities firms, and asset management companies. It ensures these institutions comply with laws and regulations, safeguarding the interests of consumers and maintaining the integrity of the financial industry.
  4. Foreign Reserves Management: MAS is responsible for managing Singapore's foreign reserves, which are held primarily to support the Singapore dollar's exchange rate policy. The reserves also serve as a buffer against potential financial or economic shocks and provide confidence in Singapore's creditworthiness.
  5. Fostering Financial Sector Development: MAS works to promote Singapore as an international financial center by fostering innovation, competition, and growth in the financial sector. It collaborates with other government agencies and the private sector to develop the financial services industry and expand the range of financial products and services available in the market.
  6. Currency Issuance: MAS is responsible for issuing and managing Singapore's currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD), ensuring the stability, integrity, and efficiency of the country's cash payment system.

MAS is well-regarded globally for its robust regulatory framework and commitment to maintaining a stable and efficient financial system. Its policies have contributed to Singapore's reputation as a leading financial center in Asia and worldwide.