Banks and Financial institutions in Singapore

Singapore is among the top financial services hub in the Asia-Pacific region and a global centre for banking and finance.

There are a lot of factors that have contributed in attracting some of the world’s biggest financial institutions and international capital in Singapore. Some of the factors are good financial basics, a sturdy supervisory framework, ethnic diversity and a professional business setting.

Singapore has been ranked Number 3 in the list of financial centres of the world after London and New York in context of competiveness. Singapore offers a large range of products and services including foreign exchange, equities, banking, insurance and asset management etc.

The major growth areas are that of wealth management, private management and risk management contributed by Singapore’s status for conviction and reliability and also the post millennium economic success in the region especially in India and China.

There are a total of 113 commercial banks in Singapore, 49 merchant banks and 3 major finance corporations. The three local banks of the country namely OCBS, DBS and UOB are the biggest banks in South East Asia.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) which is the chief bank of Singapore has been taking initiatives to liberalize the banking sector of Singapore since 1997. This step has stimulated more competition from foreign banking institutions. As a result of this on-going liberalization Singapore Exchange (SGX) has been formed. It is the first combined derivative and cash exchange in Asia Pacific and the largest in Asia. It has approximately 200 international companies listed in it.

Singapore has the fourth largest foreign exchange market in the whole world and second largest over the counter derivatives centre in Asia. It is also a principal commodities derivatives trading centre and one of the leading asset management sites in Asia.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore is the chief bank of Singapore that manages the supervision of financial policy, administration of payment systems and the issuance of currency. It also serves as a banker to the government and financial agent of it too. Its objective is to create an appealing business setting for financial establishments, develop Singapore as a local leader in wealth management, an international processing hub and a leading risk management hub for Asia Pacific.

The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS)

It is a non-profit establishment that works for the interest of the investment and commercial banking groups. This organization was formed in 1973 after the dissolution of trading of currency agreement between Malaysia and Singapore. It was formerly named as “the association of Banks in Malaysia and Singapore”.

Its members comprised of a total of 142 local and foreign financial institutions of Singapore as of Dec 2011. ABS is administered by a council consisting of 18 members included from the senior managerial positions of the three local banks of Singapore and fifteen foreign financial institutions. DBS, UOB or OCBC (local banks) chair this council and it is interchanged every two years between these banks.

Membership of ABS is voluntary and open to financial institutions and banks approved by MAS and functioning in Singapore.

Singapore as an Investment Banking Centre

The investment banking industry in Singapore has developed into a major global debt-arranging centre in Asia. There have been many factors that have contributed to Singapore’s flourishing and dynamic capital market.

Singaporean Government, corporate, statutory boards and supra-nationals have been boosting a stable flow of issuance, this has been a major contributing factor in uplifting Singapore’s position in Investment banking sector. Also, the introduction of “approved bond intermediary scheme” has encouraged bond investors to withstand the debt market. Launch of SGX also played a key role in attracting global companies to Singapore.

Singapore, Southeast Asia's financial and high-tech hub, has the following banks and financial instututions. Click on the alphabet with which the bank you are interested in starts.

last updated on 18 Dec 2012

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