Introduction to money lenders in Singapore.


Lending money is a business that requires specific qualifications in Singapore. You need a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore or to register with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) to operate as a moneylender in Singapore (MAS).

Money Lending Business Act

The laws and guidelines for Singapore’s moneylending sector are laid out in the Money Lenders Act (Cap. The Money Lenders Act applies to all moneylenders in Singapore, whether or not they have a license. Enforcement of the Money Lenders Act falls under the purview of the Ministry of Law, which comprises two departments:

  • When it comes to the licensing and regulation of financial services, the Financial Services Regulatory Division (FSD) is in charge of everything.
  • For financial institutions, intermediaries, and regulators like insurance companies, the Legal Service Division is a go-to resource for guidance on public law, civil litigation, and regulatory issues.

Both licensed and unlicensed moneylenders in Singapore must adhere to the rules set forth in the Money Lenders Act. Enforcement of the Money Lenders Act falls under the purview of the Ministry of Law, which comprises two departments:

Singapore Licensed vs. Registered Moneylender

The term “registered moneylenders” or “licensed moneylenders” may be familiar to you, but do you know what it means? The Singaporean government monitors the lending sector to ensure that all participants act in a transparent, honest, and fair manner. To ensure this, the law establishes distinct guidelines for licensed and registered moneylenders. Businesses and individuals who lend money in Singapore must register with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) if they don’t meet certain criteria (MAS). In order to legally lend money, businesses need permission from MAS. Only after MAS is satisfied that a moneylender will conduct business in an honest and open manner will it be granted a license.

Licensed moneylenders must have an official agent who enforces lending laws. The Financial Services Regulatory Division (FSD) regulates and licenses financial services; the Legal Service Division advises on public law, civil litigation, and regulatory issues affecting financial institutions and intermediaries, including insurance companies, as well as other matters affecting these institutions. Registered moneylenders do not need an official agent, but they must meet the same requirements as licensed ones. Licensed moneylenders must have an agent, while registered ones do not.

Credit License Number

The MAS issues unique 10-digit identification numbers for credit licenses. The licenses are all numbered. You can find the moneylender’s credit license number on their website or, if they have one, their business card. You should also keep your loan agreement or promissory note in a safe place in case you need to refer to it in the future.

Registration Number

The first three digits of the moneylender’s license number serve as their identification number. You can get this information from the lender’s website, business cards, or promotional materials.


We hope you found this article on Singapore’s Money Lenders Act to be informative. If you need additional information on the loan application process or where to locate a legitimate moneylender, check out our other articles on the subject.