Just one degree north of the equator, tropical Singapore has become a superstar country due to its extremely efficient infrastructure, rooftop bars, chili crab, and the host of the only night Formula 1 racing spot in the whole world. it is often dubbed as the “Monaco of the East,” as the place continues its rise through one of the most successful economies in the entire world history. Much of its success can be placed on the efforts of one man – Lee Kuan Yew, who was Singapore’s first prime minister holding the office from 1959 to all the way until 1990. He is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of humanity.
Singapore broke away from Malaysia and gained independence in 1965 and thus the miraculous ascend into the leading world economy has started. The miracle is a soft word to use considering the fact that the country has no natural resources pulling off an amazing success now boasting two casino-integrated resorts, the biggest market for forex brokers in Singapore and the world as well as an airport, which is one of the busiest and most developed not only in the region but all across the globe. In addition to all of this, the central district is full of business skyscrapers, which easily rival that of Hong Kong and mid-town Manhattan in New York City.
To reiterate, Singapore used to be a third world dump on the earth and now it is rocking the title of one of the most developed countries on the whole globe. It is one of the original Asian Tigers and has surpassed all of them since then in terms of GDP per capita. Not only that but it boasts the most successful foreign exchange markets (Forex, or just FX) in the South East Asia region. As such, it is extremely easy to find a reputable and well-regulated broker in the country. However, it needs to be duly noted that the brokerage industry, even though full of legit forex companies in Singapore, is riddled with scammer firms even to this day which has caused a huge number of scrutiny in recent years and Singapore is no exception to that. These fraudulent companies are showing off their unearthly bonuses as well as services, while in reality only has a quirky looking website and forged license under the hood.
Singapore has its own regulatory body named Monetary Authority of Singapore, or MAS, which is the only regulator in the country. The government institution allows users to check the authenticity of the chosen broker by visiting their homepage and thus anyone outside of their scope should be avoided as a rule of thumb.
If anything, it is important to note that Singapore is a business hub of South East Asia. Although, their currency is not the one people trade the most. Singapore dollar is interchangeable with the Brunei dollar, thus, it is always a good notion to trade with Singapore forex brokers that allow withdrawals in the local currency. Apart from this, even if the broker for some reason does not, the country is a cosmopolitan business city meaning that it is extremely easy to convert any type of currency including the United States Dollars (USD), Great British Pounds (GBP), to Singapore Dollars (SGD).
The reason why every Singapore citizen should aspire to find a local broker is quite logical. The fact that the brokerage firm is located in your geographical zone, including time zone, means that the quality of their customer service will be accessible at the convenient times for you. It is worth noting that while a lot of off-shore brokers also provide extremely high-quality service like the ones regulated by Australian Securities and Investments Commission, or ASIC, British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), or the United States Securities and Exchange Commissions (US SEC), they all fall far from best Singapore brokers business operating times and hence are not going to be as comfortable to use as the locally based ones. Plus, there is no reason to look for anyone else due to the sheer fact that MAS is one of the most trustworthy and well prepared regulatory bodies in the world thus making it less reason to look elsewhere.
Top Singapore FX Brokers and Their Reviews
There are over 500 different licensed brokers in Singapore. All of them are authorized by MAS and offer different degrees of leveraged FX trading services. However, the actual number of brokerage firms that are actually regulated is far less with only 40 falling under the latter category around 2 years ago in 2018. Due to this, in-depth research needs to be conducted to find these companies and make sure that you are dealing with the properly regulated one. This is where we can assist you by doing a part of the job for you. You can view top Singapore forex trading brokers down below including statistics like their reviews, maximum leverage, minimum deposits, regulations, the year of foundation, and trading platforms.
You can visit their pages just by clicking on the appropriate link and preview their offerings in detail. Alternatively, you can view the reviews done by our team of professionals on our website without clicking away to third-party pages. All of the Singapore scamming companies have also been featured, however, the links to their websites are removed to protect the reader from accidentally clicking on them.
Monetary Authority of Singapore and The Role They Play
The Monetary Authority of Singapore, or MAS, is a central bank of Singapore and the financial regulatory authority. The role includes administering different statutes in connection to money, banking, insurance, securities, and the financial sector overall as well as currency issuance.
MAS was founded in 1971 to oversee monetary functions that are in connection with banking and finance. Prior to its foundation, these operations were done by the government and its different departments and agencies, however, different economic standards were back in the day. There was no trading on Forex and thus no Singapore forex brokers regulations. The abbreviation of the new institution was, MAS, resembles a Malaysian word for Gold. It is worth noting that Singapore’s national language is in fact Malaysian, however, the word is pronounced a bit differently. As Singapore’s economy evolved the country required more multiplex monetary banking and monetary functions, thus, creating a need for an administration, which would create more flexible and coherent monetary laws. Due to this in 1970, the Parliament of Singapore passed the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act, which led to the formation of MAS on the 1st of January, 1971.
As a trader in Singapore, your aim should be to start dealing with a broker who is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore due to the simple fact that one is far more likely to give the professional service, customer support, good platform integration, and etc. Apart from this, finding legit forex companies in Singapore at this moment and time is like going through a minefield. It is never so easily apparent as the fake firms are manipulating everything starting from Google algorithms as well as faking the credentials to make themselves look much more authentic than they are. MAS is a government affiliate institution, which has several roles as well as leverages to protect the customers of their licensed brokers. They are responsible for the growth and economic development in Singapore. The roles include:
- Acting Central Bank of Singapore
- Regulates Insurance Industry
- Promotion of Singapore as a leading financial center in the world
- Management of the official national foreign reserves of Singapore
- Supervision of financial services as well as financial stability
As it was already mentioned prior to 1971, all of the country’s financial matters were handled by the government institutions. In 1971 the MAS was created. In 1977 the government of Singapore has decided to task MAS with the regulation of the insurance industry in addition to financial services like modern MAS listed forex brokers. After a couple of years, in 1984, the whole Securities Industry Act was transferred to the Monetary Authority of Singapore. In 2002, MAS has decided to merge with the Board of Commissioners of Currency, which was a previous institution to regulate the currency due to the fact that in 1965 monetary union between Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei had dissolved.
So overall, everything regarding brokers and their trades is regulated by MAS. Due to this fact, every trader needs to aspire to work with the brokers who are regulated by MAS.
What Is Required From The Broker to be Registered in Singapore?
If a company is willing to offer a financial service in Singapore first they need to register and apply for Capital Markets Services (CMS) license or the Financial Advisors’ License (FAL). All of the top Singapore forex trading brokers are registered under CMS license. If it is an individual who wants to become a representative of the CMS there is a CMC Representative license as well for these instances.
Working under the MAS Act means that the foreign exchange market broker is not allowed to take any position or subsequently act as a principal in the money market or foreign exchange. For the institution to be allowed to apply for the CMS license it has to first be a company that is already regulated under the Second Schedule of Securities and Futures Act. This applies to all of the “activities and institutions in the securities and derivatives industry, including leveraged fx trading of financial benchmarks and of clearing facilities, and for matters connected therewith” as it is described in the introduction of the act paper.
The firm has to also be in business for more than 5 years and has an extremely exceptional financial track record during this time. This is what clears out the list of forex brokers Singapore, as it is impossible to just make a firm and register straight away. Strong internal compliance systems, as well as a presentation of the business plans and projections, which are mandatory for all of the interested institutes to apply for this license. There is also a minimum amount of shareholders’ fund of SDG 200 million required for the firm to get the right to deal in securities. In the case of the futures market, this is lowered to SDG 100 million. Although, none of this is possible without being the resident of Singapore first.
There is a non-refundable fee for the application so the company needs to present all of the necessary documents in due time before applying for MAS. The processing itself takes 6 months and a successful candidate will receive CMS license as well as Annual License Fee Advice, which shows how much fee is required to be paid. For MAS regulated forex brokers the license is valid for 3 years and requires the renewal process. However, the license fee is paid annually. The renewal fees must be all covered at least 1 month prior to the expiration date of the license.
MAS and Financial Educational Programme, MoneySENSE
Monetary Authority of Singapore has launched its education program MoneySense in 2003, which aims to help the consumers become more financially self-reliant. A Financial Education Steering Committee was appointed to head the program and is directly controlled by a representative of MAS. This shows that the MAS is a very consumer-oriented organization, making it even more obvious why someone should opt for the MAS licensed broker. Its regulatory capacity involves upholding consumer rights and protecting investments, thus, it is very much interested in educating the public about every detail and is oriented to provide citizens with enough information to make well-educated decisions concerning their finances. This makes it easier for citizens to be wary of new Singapore forex brokers.
MoneySENSE works with the MAS and issues of regular consumer alerts, which involves highlighting risks associated with choosing unregulated financial service providers. One of the biggest topics is warning individuals about deliberately misleading or false regulatory information. This is what scamming FX brokers do all over the world to lure unsuspecting customers into their elaborate financial affairs. They claim that they have a license from a recognized regulatory body with all of the necessary documentation, however, if doublechecked with the issuing institution they will very quickly tell you that this organization has never registered with the regulatory body. This is done to provide a small show of legitimacy and make the whole process more believable.
Sometimes a scamming broker may register with a name that closely resembles the one with the active licensing. Thus it is always recommended to check the spelling, logo, or even eye-ball the font for comparison. This is why every information a forex trading brokers for Singaporeans provide needs to be double-checked with the regulatory body. To counter this, MoneySENSE provides regular trainings and advice on ways to further protect yourself from these fraudulent companies.
This is one of the biggest reasons why someone should opt for MAS-regulated brokers. Everyone licensed and authorized by MAS is legally required to tend to customer complaints with the utmost attention in a prompt and efficient manner. Should a trader decide to write a complaint to the brokerage firm, it is advised to make a written letter to the company itself first. This is to have a written confirmed letter of complaint as evidence of referral and communication. If a satisfactory solution cannot be reached the customer can start a formal process by contacting the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Center (FIDReC), provided this has to be done in the 6 months period from the last communication with the forex brokers in Singapore.
Other options include contacting either the Consumer Association of Singapore or the Singapore Mediation Center. If none of these are up to satisfaction then the case can be taken to the court.
Limiting Margin Requirements in Future
Apart from all of the regulations that are in place to make sure fair and honest financial service is provided, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is also looking into getting some sort of requirements for non-cleared over-the-counter derivatives. A lot of other regulatory bodies all across the world have taken this initiative and have been more than successful in their endeavors. As an example, the United States financial regulatory body limits the leverage to 20:1 when it comes to foreign exchange market transactions involving Swiss francs, and 33:1 for transactions involving Swedish or Norwegian krone. This is something to keep in mind since this aspect of Singapore forex brokers regulation is yet to come, however, it is under heavy discussing with an executive decision awaiting to come at the end of the year. Thus, this is something to keep in mind if you want to start trading on FX with currency pairs in Singapore.
What Does MAS Do Differently From Other Institutions
Interestingly, MAS does not regulate the currency like other central banks such as the Federal Reserve System in the United States, or the bank of England. Instead of pulling normal strings, MAS resolves their monetary system issues by interest rates to influence the liquidity of the currency in the system. This is done ever since 1981 via the utilization of Foreign Exchange Market (FX) mechanisms. Through such ordeals, MAS manages the Singapore dollar’s nominal effective exchange rate (SGD NEER) versus different other currencies which are not revealed publicly. This is done through intervention into the SDG and other different money markets. This is something that differentiates average brokers from top Singapore forex trading brokers since they have to become adept at predicting such changes and make valid consultation. They also review their stance quite a bit less frequently than other central banks – once every 6 months.
The Forex Scams in Singapore
As rich as Singapore is, as many scammers and fraudulent people it has. This is due to the fact that the overall population is quite rich in comparison to most of the other parts of the world. Thus making it a free-for-all for all of the scammers focused on squeezing as much money out of the Singapore citizens as possible. Due to this, everyone wanting to start trading on Forex needs to arm themselves with the corresponding amount of information. This is what we were speaking about when it comes down to rooting out these disingenuous companies from your list of possible partners. One needs to be aware of all of the trickery that new Singapore forex brokers devise to manipulate unsuspecting people into their illegal financial affairs with the intent to steal the money and just disappear.
In 2015 alone, more than 250 have written complaints to the police against Suisse International, which stole more than $35 million from them.
MAS is the body that regulates these brokers. They are the main mechanism the government has to put down the chaos that would ensure without regulations. MAS maintains Financial Institutions Directory, which is the place to find firms that are licensed by MAS and work hard on maintaining this untainted reputation. MAS also has a thing called Investor Alert List. This is the place where the Monetary Authority of Singapore puts all of the unregulated companies, which have been caught in their wrongdoings.
The Commercial Affairs Department, or CAD, is the body of MAS which is tasked to investigate white-collar crimes. However, it does not matter how much CAD or the Singapore Police Force (SPF) try to clean the list of legit forex companies in Singapore, they cannot root out all of the scammers. This is why the traders and potential investors need to vary from such companies and take a proper precaution when hiring a financial service.
The Singapore Exchange
The Singapore Exchange, or SGX, is one of the largest exchanges in the whole southeast Asia. In fact, it is so large that it is number 3 on the world market following after London and New York. SGX is bigger than 40% of the listed companies and 75% of the listed bonds originated from outside of Singapore.
SGX is also a very liquid offshore market for benchmark equity indices for countries like India, Japan, and China. It offers a huge number of commodities as well as derivatives. As such, it becomes more and more attractive for FX traders. All of the MAS regulated brokers are absolutely capable of offering a quality currency trading platforms, however, SGX is still one of the best in the market, due to this MAS listed forex brokers usually provide this as a platform.
In conclusion, Singapore is one of the original Asian Tigers, and financially the biggest cat in there. Monetary Authority of Singapore is also one of the most trusted regulatory institutions out there for everyone but most importantly citizens of Singapore. The wide range of regulated brokers on their list is a premise to success. However, one should not blindly trust any broker. Some of them may be running an outdated license or falsified license number. It is something to keep an eye out for and the only way to defend your own investments.