Monetary Authority of Singapore

Monetary Authority of Singapore

As the central bank of Singapore, The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was established on 1 January 1974. MAS is responsible for managing Singapore’s currency, banking, and financial sector.

What is the Monetary Authority of Singapore?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) main functions is to promote monetary stability and to supervise and develop the financial sector. The MAS was established in 1971 to replace the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore. Managing director Ravi Menon currently heads it. Established on 1 January 1966, it is a statutory board under the Ministry of Finance. MAS manages Singapore’s foreign exchange reserves and promotes monetary stability by ensuring that the financial system functions prudently and efficiently.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) primary role is to promote sustained non-inflationary economic growth and a sound and progressive financial center. MAS manages Singapore’s exchange rate, monitors financial stability, and regulates the financial sector.

The Different types of Monetary Policy

There are two main types of monetary policy: expansionary and contractionary. Expansionary policy is when a central bank increases the money supply to stimulate economic growth. Contractionary policy is when a central bank reduces the money supply to slow down inflation. The Monetary Authority of Singapore uses both expansionary and contractionary measures to ensure price stability and promote sustainable economic growth. In recent years, it has been more expansionary as it seeks to support the recovery rom the global financial crisis.

Expansionary Monetary Policy

The primary tool of expansionary monetary policy is to increase the money supply. This is usually done by lowering interest rates, making it cheaper for businesses to borrow and invest. Lower interest rates also drive consumers to spend more. The expansionary policy aims to prompt economic growth and create jobs. The limitation of this policy is that it can lead to inflation if the money supply increases too much. Inflation abrades the purchasing power of money, which can be a problem for people on fixed incomes, such as pensioners.

Contractionary Monetary Policy

The primary tool of contractionary monetary policy is to reduce the money supply. This is generally done by raising interest rates, making it more expensive for businesses to borrow and invest. Higher interest rates also discourage consumers from spending. The contractionary policy aims to slow down inflation and prevent the economy from overheating. The limitation of this policy is that it can lead to a recession if the money supply decreases too much. A recession is when economic activity slows down, and unemployment rises.

The History of the Monetary Authority of Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the central bank of Singapore, which was established on 1 January 1971, is responsible for issuing Singapore’s currency, managing the country’s reserves, and overseeing the banking sector. MAS has played a pivotal role in developing Singapore into a flourishing financial center. Over the years, MAS has progressively liberalized the financial sector while maintaining strict prudential regulations.

Today, Singapore’s banking system is among the soundest and most technologically advanced in the world. The journey to becoming a leading financial center began with three key decisions in 1968: to peg the Singapore Dollar to the US Dollar at par, to set up a central bank to issue currency and manage monetary policy, and to establish a Monetary Board to formulate and implement monetary policy.

These decisions were implemented through three key pieces of legislation–the Currency Act, Banking Act, and Monetary Authority of Singapore Act–which was passed in1970 and came into effect on 1 January 1971.Since then, MAS has been committed to ensuring price stability while promoting sustained economic growth. In line with this dual mandate, MAS manages monetary policy by keeping inflation low and stable while ensuring that adequate liquidity is available to support credit growth and economic activity.

The Roles and Responsibilities of the Monetary Authority of Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) ‘s responsibilities are managing the country’s currency, monetary policy, and banking sector. The MAS is also responsible for promoting financial stability in Singapore.

The MAS has a wide range of roles and responsibilities. These include:

  1. Managing the country’s currency: The MAS is responsible for issuing and managing the Singapore dollar. It also sets monetary policy to ensure that the currency remains stable.
  2. Promoting financial stability: The MAS strives to maintain a sound and stable financial systemin Singapore. It does this by regulating the banking and insurance industries and managing public debt.
  3. Developing policies to promote economic growth: The MAS develops policies to help Singapore’s economy grow sustainably. For example, it promotes initiatives to build the financial sector and encourage innovation.
  4. Conducting research on economic and financial issues: The MAS conducts research on various economic and financial issues to support its policymaking decisions.
  5. Providing banking services to the government: The MAS provides banking services to the government of Singapore, including managing public funds and issuing government bonds.
  6. Acting as a banker to the banking sector: The MAS provides banking services to commercial banks in Singapore. This includes providing loans and acting as a clearing house for interbank transactions.
  7. Regulating the financial sector: The MAS regulates the banking, insurance, and securities industries in Singapore. It also supervises financial market intermediaries such as moneylenders and stockbrokers.

How the Monetary Authority of Singapore Operates

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are established in 1971, and MAS is also the country’s banking and financial services sector regulator. As the central bank, MAS is responsible for ensuring monetary and financial stability in Singapore. MAS operates within the framework of a dual mandate: first, to ensure price stability; second, to promote sustained economic growth.

MAS formulates and implements monetary policy, manages official foreign reserves, supervises and regulates the financial services industry, issues currency, and acts as the government’s banker. Price stability refers to keeping inflation in check. Inflation refers to the sustained increase in the general level of prices for goods and services in an economy over a while. Too much inflation can erode purchasing power and reduce living standards, while too little inflation can lead to stagnation and unemployment.

Sustained economic growth refers to achieving long-term economic prosperity. This includes creating more jobs and opportunities for businesses to grow and raising household incomes. MAS promotes a pro-business environment and encourages innovation and productivity to sustain economic growth.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore is a world-class central bank that has helped to position the city-state as a leading financial center. We appreciate their continued contribution in helping us to grow and develop our business.