Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Brokers 2024
Brokers regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) must facilitate a robust trading environment for local traders in line with regulations. As well as listing the top trading brokers authorized by the MAS, this guide will cover the financial body’s objectives, powers and protections for retail traders.
Best MAS Brokers
These 4 brokers are the best options for traders from Singapore with authorized firms required to abide by various safety standards:
#1 - Interactive Brokers
Why We Chose Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage for experienced traders, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.
"Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers for advanced day traders, providing powerful charting platforms, real-time data, and customizable layouts. Its superb pricing and advanced order options also make it highly attractive for day traders, while its diverse range of equities is still among the best in the industry."- DayTrading Review Team
- Instruments: Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
- Regulator: FCA, SEC, FINRA, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB
- Platforms: Trader Workstation (TWS), Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
- Min. Deposit: $0
- Min. Trade: $100
- Leverage: 1:50
- The TWS platform has clearly been built for intermediate and advanced traders and comes with over 100 order types and a reliable real-time market data feed that rarely goes offline.
- With low commissions, tight spreads and a transparent fee structure, IBKR delivers a cost-effective environment for short-term traders.
- IBKR continues to deliver unmatched access to global stocks with tens of thousands of equities available from 100+ market centres in 24 countries.
- TWS’s learning curve is steep, and beginners may find it challenging to navigate the platform and understand all the features. Plus500's web platform is much better suited to new traders.
- IBKR provides a wide range of research tools, but their distribution across trading platforms and the web-based 'Account Management' page lacks consistency, leading to a confusing user experience.
- Support can be slow and frustrating based on tests, so you might find it challenging to reach customer service representatives promptly or encounter delays in resolving issues.
#2 - IG
Why We Chose IG
Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand-US offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.
"IG continues to provide a comprehensive package with an intuitive web platform and best-in-class education for beginners, plus advanced charting tools, real-time data, and fast execution speeds for experienced day traders."- DayTrading Review Team
- Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
- Regulator: FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA
- Platforms: Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
- Min. Deposit: $0
- Min. Trade: 0.01 Lots
- Leverage: 1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
- IG is amongst the best in terms of its range of instruments, which includes stocks, forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, providing ample diversification opportunities
- The IG app offers a superb mobile trading experience with a clean design that helped it secure Runner Up at our Best Trading App award
- The ProRealTime advanced charting platform is free as long as certain modest monthly trading activity requirements are met
- Stock and CFD spreads still trail the cheapest brokers like CMC Markets based on tests
- IG has discontinued its swap-free account, reducing its appeal to Islamic traders
- IG applies an inactivity fee of $12 per month after 2 years, deterring casual investors
#3 - Moomoo
Why We Chose Moomoo
Moomoo is an SEC-regulated app-based investment platform that offers a straightforward and affordable way to invest in Chinese, Hong Kong, Singaporean, Australian and US stocks, ETFs and other assets. Margin trading is available and the brand offers a zero-deposit account as well as several bonuses.
"Moomoo remains an excellent choice for new and intermediate stock traders who want to build a diverse investment portfolio. What really stands out is the broker's user-friendly app and the low trading fees."- DayTrading Review Team
- Instruments: Stocks, Options, ETFs, ADRs, OTCs
- Regulator: SEC, FINRA, MAS, ASIC, SFC
- Platforms: Desktop Platform, Mobile App
- Min. Deposit: $0
- Min. Trade: $0
- Leverage: 1:2
- There is no minimum deposit requirement making the broker accessible for beginners
- Moomoo's analytics and insights are impressive and detailed compared to other brands
- There are reduced options contract fees from $0.65 to $0
- There is no negative balance protection, which is a common safety feature at top-tier-regulated brokers
- It's a shame that there is no 2 factor authentication (2FA), despite the other security features on offer
- There is no phone or live chat support - common options at most other brokers
#4 - Gemini
Why We Chose Gemini
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange set up in 2014 by the Winklevoss brothers, known for their early involvement in Facebook. The exchange is among the world’s 20 largest and continues to provide a secure and reliable trading environment by actively seeking regulatory oversight and complying with the latest industry requirements. Gemini traders can trade and stake 80+ cryptocurrencies, with derivatives trading available in some jurisdictions, an advanced proprietary platform, ActiveTrader, and additional features including an NFT marketplace.
"Gemini’s ActiveTrader platform, transparency and attention to regulatory requirements make it a good choice for serious crypto traders seeking a reliable platform to trade crypto derivatives, though we were disappointed by some unnecessary fees and past financial problems."- DayTrading Review Team
- Instruments: Cryptos
- Regulator: NYDFS, MAS, FCA
- Platforms: ActiveTrader, AlgoTrader, TradingView
- Min. Deposit: $0
- Min. Trade: 0.00001 BTC
- There is a decent range of education, guides and tutorials suitable for beginners
- The exchange has made great efforts to prove their credentials via audits, transparently publishing financial data and obtaining licenses
- The app has a high-end design and intuitive interface
- History of concerning incidents including the collapse of its Earn program and a phishing breach
- There is no practise profile or demo account for prospective traders
- 'Convenience fee' for using mobile app seems arbitrary and makes it inefficient to use this feature
What Is The Monetary Authority of Singapore?
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the financial regulatory authority of Singapore. It deals with activities pertaining to banking, insurance, securities, money and the overall financial sector. In addition to this, it controls currency issuance and control of foreign exchange rates for USD to SGD exchanges.
The address of its headquarters is at 10 Shenton Way, MAS Building, Singapore. It also has locations around the world, including an office in London and an office in New York.
According to its website, the mission and vision of the MAS are to “promote sustained and non-inflationary economic growth, and a sound and progressive financial services sector”. To achieve this, the MAS develops strategic plans and aims to:
- Conduct exchange rate policy
- Manage official foreign reserves
- Regulate and supervise the financial sector
- Work with the industry to develop Singapore as an international financial centre
The MAS has also managed and administered a series of measures to help achieve its mission, including:
- The Currency Act and legal tender in Singapore
- Dispute resolution schemes regulations (2007)
- Anti-terrorism measures regulations (2002)
- Payment services act (2019)
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has created a set of objectives and desired outcomes:
- Stable financial system
- Safe and sound intermediaries
- Safe and efficient infrastructure
- Fair, efficient and transparent markets
- Well-informed and empowered customers
- Transparent and fair-dealing intermediaries
The Monetary Authority of Singapore was established in 1971. Before this, all monetary functions were conducted by government departments, mainly the Board of Commissioners and Currency. In 1970, Singapore’s parliament passed the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act which led to the establishment of the MAS on January 1st, 1971. This was in response to an increasingly complex monetary environment. The act gave the MAS the power to regulate all aspects of finance in Singapore.
As Singapore and other countries struggled with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the MAS brought forward its twice-yearly meeting, eased the Singapore dollar’s appreciation and interest rate to zero per cent and moved the policy band downwards. This was the first such move since the global financial crisis.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s organisational chart can be found on its website. MAS’s day-to-day head is its managing director, Mr Ravi Menon, who is effectively the CEO. He sits atop of the hierarchy, and beneath him is Keith Chnioh and a management team who deal with specific aspects of the MAS.
This includes head of corporate development – Jacqueline Loh, international development head – Andrew Khoo, and head of cyber security and hygiene – Tan Yeow Seng. Team members deal with anything from press releases and news events, to writing the latest prospectus.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has had a number of notable employees who have had successful careers. These include names such as Chua Kim Leng, Valerie Tay and Lee Yuan Siong.
Responsibilities & Powers
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has many responsibilities, including:
Guidelines & Rules
To provide a safe financial environment both for customers and for financial service providers, the MAS issues guidelines on a variety of subjects, such as individual accountability and conduct, environmental risk management, business continuity management, ESG, technology risk management and outsourcing guidelines.
As a government body, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is required to release information to the public. This includes financial statements, such as annual (and quarterly) reports, balance sheets and financial stability reports. It releases reports on its assets under management (AUM), including net profit. It also provides an investor alert list to warn customers of unregulated persons, such as Jardin Smith.
In the same vein, the Monetary Authority of Singapore provides a register of all licensed representatives. The public can conduct an entity license search to check which trading brokers and institutions are regulated by the MAS.
Legitimate and trusted online brokers will always aim to become licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Brokers from Singapore, Myanmar, Hong Kong and all over the world aim to receive a license from MAS, as it allows customers to put a level of trust in the brand. There is a financial institution directory listing all financial service providers that hold licenses, such as Tiger Brokers.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has a series of powers relating to monetary policy, including the ability to implement quantitative easing measures and to ensure sustainable non-inflationary economic growth. It also sets the exchange rate, conducts operational risk and resilience checks, as well as enterprise-wide risk assessments.
When it comes to sanctioning parties that have broken the rules and regulations, there are many things the MAS can do:
- Targeted financial sanctions
- Supervisory reminders
- Prohibition orders
- Civil penalties
For those wishing to contact the Monetary Authority of Singapore for any support or advice, the helpdesk is available Monday to Fridays between 8:30 am to 6.00 pm, via telephone or email.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s FinTech regulatory sandbox enables financial institutions to experiment with innovative financial products or services. The MAS provides regulatory support by relaxing specific legal and regulatory requirements for the duration of the sandbox. Upon completion and successful experimentation, the sandbox entity must fully comply with the relevant legal and regulatory requirements.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has seen the potential of digital and virtual currency, or cryptocurrency and the blockchain. The world is going through a digital transformation which the MAS recognises. It aims to cement itself as a key player for crypto-related businesses and has developed strong regulations for firms to operate.
This has attracted crypto firms like Binance who are now in partnership with the Monetary Authority of Singapore in facilitating the trading of Bitcoin and other cryptos coins. Project Ubin is another collaborative project that the MAS is involved in which aims to explore the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology for clearing and settlement of payments, for example, PayPal payments.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore believes in sustainable and green trade finance. As the effects of climate change grip the planet, the MAS is incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into its financing decisions. It wants to promote sustainable finance within the sector and encourages institutions to consider ESG criteria in their decision making.
Final Thoughts On The MAS
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is responsible for overseeing and supervising all aspects of Singapore’s financial sector, from the central bank to trading brokers and insurance providers.
The MAS sets out tough guidelines that all financial services providers must meet to ensure the market is fair and safe. With other initiatives such as the FinTech and Innovation sandbox, ESG guidelines and cryptocurrency projects, it’s no wonder that the MAS continues to promote Singapore as a robust financial centre.
Before you sign up to a broker, it would be wise to ensure that they hold a license by conducting an entity search on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s public register. Alternatively, check out our list of MAS brokers today.
What Does The Monetary Authority Of Singapore Do?
The MAS is the central bank and financial regulatory authority of Singapore. It covers anything relating to banking, money, insurance, securities and the wider financial sector.
Who Owns The Monetary Authority Of Singapore?
In terms of ownership, the MAS is a government body. It operates as a government agency and is not owned by a private party.
The Monetary Authority Of Singapore Is Under Which Ministry?
The MAS is governed by a board of directors and supported by its management team. It is chaired by Singapore’s Minister for Finance.
Does The Monetary Authority Of Singapore Regulate Forex Brokers?
Yes, the MAS regulates forex brokers. It regulates any financial services provider operating in Singapore. Traders signing up to a broker in Singapore should always ensure that they are licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
What Preceded The Monetary Authority Of Singapore?
There was no official body prior to the MAS. Before 1971, government departments and agencies regulated the financial sector.