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Monetary Authority of Singapore

Monetary Authority of Singapore

General information

10 Shenton Way MAS Building, Singapore 079117

Date established



Tharman Shanmugaratnam


Flag of Singapore Singapore


Singaporean dollar (SGD)


US$273.1 billion[1]

Base borrowing rate



The Monetary Authority of Singapore (Chinese: 新加坡金融管理局; Malay: Penguasa Kewangan Singapura), often abbreviated as MAS, is the central bank and financial regulatory authority of Singapore. It controls the numerous statutes that relate to money, banking, insurance, securities, the financial sector in general, as well as currency issuance of the Singaporean dollar.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore was established in 1971 to oversee numerous monetary functions associated banking and finance. Before its founding, monetary functions were performed by government departments and agencies.

As Singapore progressed, demands of an increasingly complex and banking environment were required to be enacted, modernizing functions to facilitate the creation of a more dynamic and coherent policy concerning monetary matters. Therefore, during 1970, the Parliament of Singapore passed the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act, leading to the establishment of the agency on January 1, 1971. This act gave the MAS the authority to regulate all of the monetary, financial, and banking aspects for Singapore.

On October 1, 2002, the Monetary Authority of Singapore merged with the Board of Commissioners of Currency Singapore and assumed the function of currency issuance.


Since the founding of the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 1971, a total of six chairmen have taken the leading role of the agency. Hon Sui Sen (1916–1983) was instated as the first president of the agency, being elected in the same month that the MAS was founded. He remained in office until July 1980. Goh Keng Swee (1918–2010) succeeded him, taking the position of chairman only a month after the resignation of his predecessor. His term lasted until he resigned in January 1985. Richard Hu (1926–) followed Keng Swee, beginning his term during the month of the latter's resignation. Hu resigned in 1997 and the office of chairman was given to Lee Hsien Loong (1952–), who kept the position until 2004. Hsien Loong was then followed as the executive of the MAS by Goh Chok Tong on August 20, 2004, and Chok Tong (1941–) was later be succeeded in 2011 by the current chairman, Tharman Shanmugaratnam (1957–).[3]



The MAS headquarters in Singapore.

During April 1977, the Singaporean government decided to carry the regulation of insurance under the MAS, and in September 1984, regulatory functions under the Securities Industry Act of 1973 were also given to the MAS. Therefore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, unlike most central banks found throughout the world, is also the financial regulatory authority for Singapore.

The MAS has been given authority to act as a banker and financial agent of the Singaporean government. It has also been given trust to support monetary stability, and credit and exchange policies conducive to the growth of the economy.

Monetary regulation[]

Unlike several other central banks like the Federal Reserve System or the Bank of England, MAS does not regulate its monetary system through interest rate to influence liquidity in the system. Instead, the Monetary Authority of Singapore does so through foreign exchange. This is done by intervening through the market of the Singaporean dollar.

Issuing currency[]


The MAS has issued Singaporean banknotes and coins since 2002

After merging with the Board of Commissioners of Currency Singapore on October 1, 2002, the MAS was given authority to issue the Singaporean dollar.

Currently, the MAS holds the exclusive right of banknote and coin issuance in the Republic of Singapore. The dimensions, designs, and denominations are all determined by the Monetary Policy Committee along with approval from the government. These coins and banknotes, thus, have the status of legal tender within Singapore for all transactions, public and private, with no limitations.

See also[]

  • Central bank
  • Economy of Singapore


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