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MAS named Central Bank of the Year by London-based publisher Central Banking

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore has been named Central Bank of the Year by London-based publisher Central Banking. 

Singapore's de facto central bank was named as one of the two overall winners in the sixth annual industry awards recognising excellence in the central banking community. The other award, for Governor of the Year, went to Karnit Flug, governor of Bank of Israel from 2013 to 2018.

Drawing on nearly 30 years of independent and informed reporting, analysis and comment, the Central Banking Awards were judged by a panel comprising members of the Central Banking Editorial Team and Editorial Advisory Board.

The publisher noted that MAS has displayed an enviable track record for monetary and financial stability, implements coherent financial system oversight as a ‘super-regulator’, and has emerged as a pioneer in creating a framework to facilitate next-generation technological and financial innovation.

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During the past year, MAS tightened its trade-weighted exchange rate and introduced macro-prudential cooling measures, while upgrading its regulatory, supervisory and resolution practices. "The MAS has placed a keen emphasis on understanding the risks and benefits of new technology. It has upgraded Singapore’s payments infrastructure and supported pioneering initiatives around cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data and distributed ledger technology," Central Banking said in a release issued on Wednesday.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon said: "This award is a tribute to the staff of MAS – their unstinting commitment to doing their best and the One MAS spirit of teamwork across the organisation. We would not have been able to achieve what we have without the strong partnership and support of the financial industry in Singapore, which has maintained high standards of prudence while pushing the boundaries of innovation.”

Christopher Jeffery, chairman of the Central Banking Awards Committee and editor-in-chief of Central Banking, noted that MAS stands out for its pioneering fintech efforts combined with its consistency of performance in monetary policy, financial stability and supervision. "The MAS has proven itself to be a well-structured and agile institution capable of introducing joined-up rulemaking while embracing technological change, all the while seeking to maintain a focus on prudent oversight of financial institutions – for which it has a strong track record.”

Said DBS Group chief executive Piyush Gupta: "As the CEO of a major Singapore bank that is also on a
transformational journey, I cannot ask for a more agile, informed, collaborative and visionary central bank as a partner."

Singapore Exchange  chief executive Loh Boon Chye said: “The outcome of the MAS’s sustained and consistent efforts is that Singapore is regarded as one of the largest fintech hubs in the world...The MAS also hosts the annual FinTech Festival, also in its third year running, which has become the largest fintech event in the world.”

On Ms Flug winning the Governor of the Year award, Mr Jeffery said:“The Bank of Israel’s first female governor delivered some hard-fought reforms during her time in office, a number of which came to fruition during the past year. She stood up to the government when necessary and safeguarded macroeconomic stability. She has a clear record of success while leading a lean central bank that never lost sight of the longer term.”