Monetary Authority of Singapore

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Monetary Authority of Singapore
Logo of MAS
Logo of MAS
Headquarters 10 Shenton Way MAS Building, Singapore 079117
Established 1971
Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Central bank of Singapore
Currency Singapore dollar
SGD (ISO 4217)
Reserves US$273.1 billion[1]
Bank rate 5.35%[2]
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Agency overview
Formed 1971
Preceding agency
  • Board of Commissioners of Currency
Jurisdiction Government of Singapore
Headquarters 10 Shenton Way MAS Building, Singapore 079117
Minister responsible
  • Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister
Agency executive
  • Ravi Menon, Managing Director
Parent agency Prime Minister's Office

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 issuance. The acronym is a play on words, as "mas" means "gold" in Malay.


The MAS was founded in 1971 to oversee various monetary functions associated with banking and finance. Before its establishment, monetary functions were performed by government departments and agencies. The acronym for its name resembles mas, the word for 'gold' in Malay, Singapore's national language – although it is not pronounced in the same way.[3]

As Singapore progressed, an increasingly complex banking and monetary environment required more dynamic and coherent monetary administration. Therefore, in 1970, the Parliament of Singapore passed the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act leading to the formation of MAS on 1 January 1971. The act gives MAS the authority to regulate all elements of monetary policy, banking, and finance in Singapore.

List of Chairmen[edit]

  1. Lim Kim San (May 1967 to Aug 1967)
  2. Goh Keng Swee (Aug 1967 to Aug 1970)
  3. Hon Sui Sen (Aug 1970 - Jul 1980)
  4. Goh Keng Swee (Aug 1980 - Jan 1985)
  5. Richard Hu (Jan 1985 - Dec 2001)
  6. Lee Hsien Loong (Jan 2001 - Aug 2004)
  7. Goh Chok Tong (Aug 2004 - May 2011)
  8. Tharman Shanmugaratnam (May 2011 - Present)


In April 1977, the Government decided to bring the regulation of the insurance industry under the wing of the MAS and in September 1984 the regulatory functions under the Securities Industry Act (1973) were also transferred to MAS. This means that unlike many other central banks, MAS is also the financial regulatory authority for 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.


However, unlike many other central banks such as Federal Reserve System or Bank of England, MAS does not regulate the monetary system via interest rates to influence the liquidity in the system. Instead, it chooses to do it via the foreign exchange mechanism. It does so by intervening in the SGD market.[4]

Issuing Banknotes and Coins[edit]

Following its merger with the Board of Commissioners of Currency on 1 October 2002, the MAS assumed the function of currency issuance.

MAS has the exclusive right to issue banknotes and coins in the Republic of Singapore. Their dimensions, designs and denominations are determined by the Monetary Policy Committee with Government approval. The banknotes and coins thus issued have the status of legal tender within the country for all transactions, both public and private, without limitation.

Recent Development into Financial Technology (FinTech)[edit]

Following upon the Smart Nation initiative, the MAS has rolled out a number of initiatives as part of efforts to establish itself as a regional leader of FinTech.[5] Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the MAS, had shared how the MAS plans to develop an ecosystem of players, open architecture economy, strong talent pool, conducive regulatory environment, and a safe and secure cyber environment to achieve the Singapore's FinTech journey.[6][7] Board member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ong Ye Kung announced that he launched the Industry Transformation Map (ITM) that will aim to create 3,000 jobs in the financial services sector and an additional 1,000 jobs in FinTech.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The World Fact Book - Singapore". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved September 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Singapore Domestic Interest Rate". Monetary Authority of Singapore. Retrieved September 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ Adam Brown (1999). Singapore English in a nutshell: an alphabetical description of its features. Federal Publications. ISBN 978-981-01-2435-9. 
  4. ^ "Singapore's Exchange Rate Policy" .
  5. ^ "Singapore unveils initiatives in bid to be regional fintech hub". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2017-12-30. 
  6. ^ Room, Reading. "Singapore FinTech Journey 2". Retrieved 2017-12-30. 
  7. ^ "What is the Monetary Authority of Singapore?". ComplyAdvantage. Retrieved 2018-07-12. 
  8. ^ Lee, Jamie. "Singapore financial sector aims to create 3,000 net jobs per year, beat national economic growth". The Business Times. Retrieved 2017-12-30. 

External links[edit]