Financial institutions are defined on investopedia.com as “an establishment that focuses on dealing with financial transactions, such as investments, loans and deposits”. Therefore, both banks and non-bank institutions such as credit card companies and insurance companies are considered financial institutions.
In Singapore, financial institutions are all regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Their mission is “to promote sustained non-inflationary economic growth and a sound and progressive financial centre”. The MAS was formed on 1 January 1970, and acts as the central bank of Singapore. Prior to the establishment of the MAS, several different government departments and agencies performed the various monetary functions associated with a central bank. The MAS was formed to consolidate all these functions in one organisation and give the MAS the authority to regulate the financial services sector in Singapore.
For a listing of all financial institutions and relevant organisations in Singapore, visit https://secure.mas.gov.sg/FID. Not only are the numbers of various types of institutions available, each company also has information such as company category, company name, country of incorporation, address and contact numbers available.
Note that moneylenders are subject to additional advertising rules that were implemented on 1 November 2011. Under the new advertising rules, licensed moneylenders are only permitted to advertise in three channels: business and consumer directories (whether print or online media); their own corporate websites; and their approved place of business. So if you receive flyers, SMS, emails or notices through other channels, know that these are no longer permitted. You should report these advertisements immediately to the Registrar of Moneylenders at +65 63252585. For more information on moneylenders and pawn brokers, visit the Insolvency and Public Trustee’s Office website at http://www.ipto.gov.sg. There is a list of all licensed moneylenders in Singapore, in addition to other important information for borrowers.