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Singapore financial sector oversight 'among the best globally': IMF

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reaffirmed Singapore’s financial sector oversight to be “among the best globally”, while adding that the country's economic fundamentals are strong and its economic policies sound.

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reaffirmed Singapore’s financial sector oversight to be “among the best globally”, while adding that the country's economic fundamentals are strong and its economic policies sound.

Having completed its third financial sector assessment programme (FSAP) on Singapore since its last review in 2013, IMF said the overall sector is resilient with healthy buffers to withstand severe adverse shocks, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced in a media release on Tuesday.

IMF found Singapore’s financial system to be resilient even under very adverse scenarios, as demonstrated by stress tests, including a large-scale global financial market turmoil. 

It also noted that MAS’ crisis management and resolution regime for distressed financial institutions has been strengthened with the introduction of enhanced resolution powers in 2017.

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"MAS has the ability to act proactively to address emerging threats to financial stability through the use of macroprudential policies," it said.

In the area of fintech regulation and supervision, IMF said MAS has struck a good balance between promoting financial innovation, while safeguarding financial stability. 

It also found the operations and oversight of the MAS Electronic Payments System (MEPS+) 3 to be compliant with international standards. MEPS+ is a critical payment system used for the settlement of Singapore dollar inter-bank funds transfers, Singapore Government securities and MAS bills.

Singapore, along with 28 other jurisdictions, was assessed by IMF to be a systemically-important financial centre due to its large and globally connected financial sector. Such jurisdictions are required to undertake a financial stability assessment every five years.

Welcoming the IMF findings, MAS managing director Ravi Menon said: "The FSAP is a rigorous assessment, and we are pleased that it has reaffirmed Singapore’s standing as a sound, stable and well-regulated financial centre."

"But ensuring that regulation and supervision remain relevant is always work-in-progress and we are pleased to have had the opportunity to learn from the IMF’s global experience in financial sector surveillance and analysis," he added.