The Monetary Authority of Singapore (Abbreviation: MAS; Template:Zh; 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 set up in 1971 to oversee various monetary functions associated with banking as well as finance. Before its establishment, monetary functions were performed by government departments and agencies.
As Singapore progressed, the demands of an increasingly complex banking and monetary environment necessitated streamlining the functions to facilitate the development of a more dynamic and coherent policy on monetary matters. 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, banking and financial aspects of Singapore.
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.
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.
Issuing Banknotes and CoinsEdit
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.