MAS to ensure financial sector’s stability on the way to recovery

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Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies and Minister-In-Charge of the Monetary Authority of Singapore

With Singapore undergoing it worst economic downturn since its formation, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has declared it will work towards economic and financial stability, as well as support businesses and individuals in recovering from the COVID-19 crisis.

In the Prime Minister’s Office’s addendum to the address by Singaporean President Halimah Yacob, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the MAS will ensure monetary and financial stability, as well as position the financial sector to emerge stronger.

According to Shanmugaratnam – who is also the minister-in-charge of the MAS – Singapore’s banks and insurance companies generally entered the crisis with financially strong balance sheets, with stress tests indicating resilience took a deep downturn.

“Singapore’s financial sector has also demonstrated strong operational resilience and has been able to continue to serve customers through the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.“This has reflected years of investments in digitalisation, sound business continuity planning and agile adjustments to work processes.”

At the onset of the crisis, MAS and the financial industry introduced several measures to provide relief to individuals and businesses, helping them meet their financial obligations such as insurance premiums and loans. However, these measures are temporary, and the MAS vowed to gradually withdraw these measures in a “well-paced” manner, without subjecting beneficiaries to shocks, and while continuing to protect financial stability.

The MAS will continue to develop the workforce’s skills, leverage technology to promote innovation, and promote environmental sustainability, according to the minister.

“The financial sector remains integral to Singapore’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and longer-term growth,” Shanmugaratnam said.“MAS will work with the industry to ensure that the financial sector is well-equipped with the skills and capabilities to emerge stronger from the crisis, and advance Singapore as a global financial centre. The financial sector is on track to meeting its targets for both growth and job creation that were set out in our five-year Industry Transformation Map for 2016 – 2020.”

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