Monetary Authority of Singapore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Monetary Authority of Singapore
Logo of MAS
Logo of MAS
Headquarters10 Shenton Way MAS Building, Singapore 079117
Established1 January 1971; 48 years ago (1971-01-01)
ChairmanTharman Shanmugaratnam
Central bank ofSingapore
CurrencySingapore dollar
SGD (ISO 4217)
ReservesUS$273.1 billion[1]
Bank rate1.67%[2]
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Agency overview
Formed1 January 1971; 48 years ago (1971-01-01)
Preceding agency
  • Board of Commissioners of Currency
JurisdictionGovernment of Singapore
Headquarters10 Shenton Way MAS Building, Singapore 079117
Minister responsible
  • Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister
Agency executive
  • Ravi Menon, Managing Director
Parent agencyPrime 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 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. Hon Sui Sen (Jan 1971 - Jul 1980) -- late Finance Minister
  2. Goh Keng Swee (Aug 1980 - Jan 1985) -- second Deputy PM from 1968 to 1973
  3. Richard Hu (Jan 1985 - Dec 1997) -- longest serving Finance Minister
  4. Lee Hsien Loong (Jan 1998 - Aug 2004) -- third and current PM of Singapore since 2004
  5. Goh Chok Tong (Aug 2004 - May 2011) -- served as Singapore's second PM from 1990 to 2004
  6. Tharman Shanmugaratnam (May 2011 - Present) -- served as Deputy PM of Singapore from 2011 to 2019. Now Senior Minister.[4]


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.

To better understand the responsibilities of the MAS, one may consider, as an example, the Authority's announcement on June 28, 2019, pertaining to the issuance of five new digital bank licenses.[5] This announcement stated that players applying for the new licences would be considered distinct from any digital banks that the Singapore banking groups may also establish under the existing internet banking framework that was introduced in 2000. The fact that this extends the eligibility for digital bank licenses to non-bank players as well, further illustrates the Authority's scope.


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.[6]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The World Fact Book - Singapore". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  2. ^ "Domestic Interest Rates". Monetary Authority of Singapore. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  3. ^ Adam Brown (1999). Singapore English in a nutshell: an alphabetical description of its features. Federal Publications. ISBN 978-981-01-2435-9.
  4. ^ [1].
  5. ^ "MEDICI | Upcoming Digital-Only Bank Licenses in Singapore: A Deep Dive". MEDICI. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  6. ^ "Singapore's Exchange Rate Policy" .

External links[edit]