Nature of Moneylending services

How is moneylending regulated in Singapore?

Do note that the Registry of Moneylenders has temporarily suspended the grant of any new moneylending licences. 

Definition of moneylending

"A person who lends a sum of money in consideration of a larger sum being repaid is, until the contrary is proved, presumed to be a moneylender under the Moneylenders Act. Under the Moneylenders Act, no person is permitted to carry on the business of moneylending in Singapore without a moneylender’s license unless that person is an “excluded moneylender” or “exempt moneylender.”

An “excluded moneylender” includes a lender that lends money solely to corporations, limited liability partnerships, trustees or trustee-managers of business trusts, trustees of real estate investment trusts and/or accredited investors."

Source: Baker McKenzie

Activity of moneylending 

"The activity of money lending is regulated under the Moneylenders Act, and requires a licence."

"Although lending itself is not regulated, the business of lending is regulated by the Moneylenders Act. Except for banks, finance companies, merchant banks, pawnbrokers, and cooperative societies, every person who carries on the business of moneylending must be licensed under the Moneylenders Act. Such lenders (including banks or moneylenders) will need to be authorized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore or the Ministry of Law to conduct such business.

There are no specific requirements around how the agreement is drafted and formatted and what information must be included.

There are no additional restrictions that apply to foreign lenders making loans to Singapore borrowers from a Singapore law perspective. However, banks in Singapore that lend Singapore dollars to non-resident financial institutions for any purpose whether in Singapore or elsewhere are subject to restrictions on the amount that they can lend." 

Source: DLA Piper


FinReg business tip

Moneylending is a regulated activity with a fixed definition, licensing framework and relevant exemptions under the Moneylenders Act. The act applies to any individual or entity who wishes to lend a sum of money in consideration of a larger repaid sum.