Is Monetary Authority of Singapore a central bank?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the central bank and financial regulatory authority of Singapore. It administers the various statutes pertaining to money, banking, insurance, securities and the financial sector in general, as well as currency issuance. It was established in 1971 to act as the Government of Singapore’s banker.

Role of the MAS

As ML/TF threats continue to evolve, MAS periodically issues new AML/CFT recommendations and guidelines that document the changes to legislation governing the financial sector, and reporting entities.

The MAS has developed business model specific rules for AML/CFT compliance that can be assessed here.

The key roles of Singapore’s regulator are as follows:

Central Banking – As Singapore’s central bank, MAS issues the currency notes, monitors the economy, manages Singapore’s official foreign reserves and oversees payment systems in the financial sector.

Developmental – MAS works closely with other government departments, financial institutions, as well as technological innovators, to develop a competitive and robust financial industry.

Financial supervision – It regulates and supervises the functioning of all financial institutions: banks, insurers, capital market intermediaries, financial advisors, FinTech firms, and the stock exchange.

Regulatory – MAS issues guidelines to ensure that the financial sector is not misused for ML/TF. For this purpose, it has established various internal departments that function in cooperation with Singapore’s government agencies to ensure rigorous compliance.