MAS or the Monetary Authority of Singapore is an integrated supervisory organization in charge of regulating the central bank (i.e., exchange rate, official foreign reserves, and liquidity) as well as financial markets’ participants (i.e., Forex brokerage firms, financial institutions, capital markets intermediaries, insurance companies, investment service providers, and stock exchange) in Singapore. It should be noted that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Act in 1970 led to the establishment of MAS as a regulator for the financial services sector, as of January of 1971. Moreover, the Security Industry Act 1973 has also empowered MAS to oversee the insurance industry. MAS is to protect the financial markets within its jurisdiction against malpractice and financial misconduct in the hope of maintaining a safe and flourishing financial center for all its participants. To that end, trying to attain a well-developed and ever-growing economy for all of Singapore is at the top of MAS’s list of priorities. MAS takes pride in its integrity, commitment, high standards, as well as its quality of teamwork. MAS also takes necessary initiatives when it comes to breaking the rules and regulations to keep the reputation of this financial center intact.
To operate more effectively as a regulator, MAS constantly makes sure that the existing as well as new trends – that could potentially make market participants susceptible – undergo a series of methodical examinations. Furthermore, MAS must educate the investors about the financial risks so they can avoid unnecessary pitfalls. MAS also knows how important it is to adapt to technological advances that come along and have the right skills for surviving and thriving in the financial industry. MAS’s board of directors, nominated by the president, takes care of the policy and general administration of the organization’s activities and also exchanges relevant regulatory and monetary information with the government. The board of directors answers to the Parliament of Singapore.
MAS consists of unique advisory panels and committees for receiving quality advice, namely the MAS Cyber Security Advisory Panel (CSAP), the International Advisory Panel (IAP), the International Technology Advisory Panel (ITAP), and the Singapore Note and Coin Advisory Committee (SNCAC). MAS cooperates with regional groups including the ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meetings (AFMGM and AFMGM+3), as well as widely known organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group (WBG), the Basel Committee of Banking Supervision (BCBS), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
MAS, as a dutiful regulator, seeks to ensure a safe and secure business environment for all of those who want to do business in the financial markets of Singapore. Additionally, MAS takes actions concerning monetary policies (e.g., exchange rate and liquidity), currency, and payment systems on behalf of the government of Singapore. MAS also monitors financial service providers’ operations closely to make certain that their activities are above board, handles the official foreign reserves of Singapore, and attempts to promote Singapore as a fine international center for doing business. To perform its duties, as a banker and as a governmental financial agent, MAS cooperates with both regional and international organizations for better and more improved regulatory services. Other areas of MAS responsibilities include Anti Money Laundering and Terrorism, Enforcement of Disciplinary Measures, FinTech Regulatory Sandbox (for innovative financial products and services), and Cyber Security.