Singapore is one of the leading financial centers of the world and a major distribution hub of finance in Southeast Asia. Therefore, that the country has created one of the most advanced banking systems in the world, numbering about 700 local and foreign banks and financial institutions that provide services ranging from consumer banking and asset management to the stock exchange, investment banking, and specialized insurance services.
Singapore’s domestic banking sector consisted of assets / liabilities in the amount of about 230 billion U.S. dollars. Singapore’s leading banks are ABN AMRO, Citibank, DBS, HSBC, OCBC, Standard Chartered and UOB. Country’s central bank is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which determines monetary policy, regulates banks and financial institutions and issues the currency. Despite the current lack of government-sponsored deposit insurance program, MAS plans to establish such a system in the near future.
Activities of commercial banks licensed in Singapore and is subject to the Banking Act. Commercial banks may engage in all possible types of banking activities. In addition to providing commercial banking services, including deposit-taking, lending and checking operations, banks may also engage in any other kind of banking business, which is regulated or permitted by MAS, including consulting services in finance, brokerage services in the field of insurance and capital market placement services (Section 30 of the Banking Act describes all the possible types of banking activities).
Currently, there are 28 banks, offering the full range of services and operating under the Banking Act in Singapore. Five of them are registered and owned by the local 3 local banking groups, and the remaining 23 banks are branches of banks registered abroad. Six of the 23 branches of foreign banks have the privilege to implement a full range of banking services. Foreign banks, providing the full range of services and those who use the specified privilege can only have 15 branches and / or ATMs of which a maximum 10 can be separated from the branches. These banks can use ATMs in conjunction with each other and are free to change the location of their offices. From July 1, 2002, privileged banks were allowed to provide services through EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer)debit network, to offer additional pension package, to use the investment accounts (CPF Investment Scheme accounts) and take time deposits in the investment scheme with a minimum amount of the deposit.