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Introduction to MAS

Who We Are
MAS is the central bank of Singapore. It formulates and executes Singapore’s monetary policy, and issues Singapore currency. As banker and financial agent to the Government, MAS manages the country’s official foreign reserves and issues government securities. As supervisor and regulator of Singapore’s financial services sector, MAS has prudential oversight over the banking, securities, futures and insurance industries. It is also responsible for the development and promotion of Singapore as an international financial centre.

MAS’ Mission
To promote sustained non-inflationary economic growth, and a sound and progressive financial centre.

MAS’ Objectives
To conduct monetary policy and issue currency, and to manage the official foreign reserves and the issuance of government securities;
To supervise the banking, insurance, securities and futures industries, and develop strategies in partnership with the private sector to promote Singapore as an international financial centre; and
To build a cohesive and integrated organisation of excellence.
History of MAS
Prior to 1970, the various monetary functions associated with a central bank were performed by several 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, Parliament passed the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act leading to the formation of MAS on 1 January 1971. The MAS Act gives MAS the authority to regulate all elements of monetary, banking and financial aspects of 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.

In April 1977, the Government decided to bring the regulation of the insurance industry under the wing of the MAS. The regulatory functions under the Securities Industry Act (1973) were also transferred to MAS in September 1984.

The MAS now administers the various statutes pertaining to money, banking, insurance, securities and the financial sector in general. Following its merger with the Board of Commissioners of Currency on 1 October 2002, the MAS has also assumed the function of currency issuance.

MAS Management over the years
Chairman Term of Office
Hon Sui Sen Jan 1971 – Jul 1980
Goh Keng Swee Aug 1980 – Jan 1985
Richard Hu Jan 1985 – Dec 1997
Lee Hsien Loong Jan 1998 – Aug 2004
Managing Director Term of Office
Michael Wong Pakshong Dec 1970 – Feb 1981
Lim Kim San Mar 1981 – Sep 1982
Yong Pung How Oct 1982 – Jun 1983
Richard Hu Jul 1983 – Dec 1984
Goh Keng Swee Jan 1985 – Apr 1985
J.Y. Pillay Apr 1985 – Oct 1989
Lee Ek Tieng Nov 1989 – Dec 1997
Koh Yong Guan Jan 1998 – Mar 2001
Tharman Shanmugaratnam Apr 2001 – Oct 2001
Koh Yong Guan Oct 2001 – May 2005

Notes: Annual Reports from 1997 to 2006 have been added to Extras Source:

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