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Singapore minister assures  banking system in good health


October 16, 2008

Singapore minister assures  banking system in good health
Singapore's banking system is not in trouble and the Monetary Authority of Singapore's response to the current financial crisis has been a measured one, Channel News Asia quoted Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Wednesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event at the Hwa Chong Institution, he said there is no lack of confidence in Singapore's banking system.

However, he declined to comment if there would be off-budget measures to manage the economic downturn.

The global financial market is facing two big problems, said Tharman.

These are the lack of capital in the banking systems and the lack of liquidity as the wholesale funding market is frozen. But, he said, confidence is still high in Singapore's financial system.

Tharman said: "Our banks have enough capital and they are not dependant on the wholesale funding market, unlike banks in some other countries. So we have not had to respond with major actions domestically.

"From the point of view of our system, it is not necessary because there is no lack of confidence in our system, and that is something that the market acknowledges. But we are studying the implications of Hong Kong and a few other countries having moved this way."

Turning to the recent protest by several investors at the Speakers' Corner, Minister Tharman said the Monetary Authority of Singapore has laid down its approach on this matter.

The key is to provide avenues of recourse for these investors. These could be either through the legal route or preferably through mediation.

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