Singapore's banks at the crossroads

The MAS and analysts agree that Singapore''s banking consolidation is just not happening quickly enough

So-called liberalization of the Singaporean banking sector has not delivered the necessary changes. As banking consolidation around the region and the world continues apace, Singapore still clings to its pre-crisis models.

An April 3 speech by chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, left many analysts cold at the way few concrete reforms have been instigated. The analysts say that compared with the changes to Singapore's telecom sector, and developments to the capital markets infrastructure, the banking sector has been left behind.

Specifically, they were concerned there were no new measures that would force the local Singaporean banks to focus more on their returns on equity and less on maintaining...

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