Monetary Authority of Singapore
Feature | MAS

Fostering Trust in Our Financial Future

As Singapore’s central bank and integrated financial regulator, the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) is responsible for ensuring monetary stability and fostering a robust and vibrant financial sector. MAS Scholar Joshua Sim does essential work towards this goal, dedicating himself to maintaining good oversight over banks in Singapore.
MAS - Scholars

Joshua Sim is a recipient of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Undergraduate Scholarship and holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Warwick. Currently, he is an Associate in the Banking Department I at the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

In a world that is increasingly reliant on banks, ensuring the trustworthiness of these institutions becomes paramount. Upholding the integrity and reliability of banks is crucial to sustain financial stability and foster economic growth.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the integrity of the nation’s financial systems while growing the financial sector. MAS must also remain agile in adapting to rapidly evolving global trends. For example, in the face of the unfolding climate crisis, MAS also facilitates the mobilisation of financial flows to catalyse Asia’s transition to a green and net zero future by supporting decarbonisation activities in Singapore and the region.

MAS boasts a team of exceptional individuals who embody the values that underpin its mission of promoting a sound and progressive financial. Among them is Joshua Sim, a shining example of the calibre of talent within MAS. Awarded the MAS Undergraduate Scholarship, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Warwick. Today, as an Associate within the Banking Department I at MAS, Joshua fosters the stability and strength of Singapore’s financial system by monitoring the safety and soundness of banks in Singapore.

We sat down with Joshua to explore his chosen career path and gain insights into his experiences with MAS.

What made you apply for a scholarship with MAS?

Like many tertiary students, my first encounter with MAS was during my macroeconomics lessons in Junior College. As I learnt about the impact of exchange rate policy on economic growth, inflation, and unemployment, I realised that MAS’ responsibility of calibrating exchange rate policy was an important one. I later attended a sharing session on the MAS Scholarship where I learnt more about MAS’ other responsibilities, such as financial supervision, development, and reserves management. MAS’ efforts in all these areas would have a direct and tangible impact on Singaporean livelihoods. This was aligned with my own goal to make a meaningful contribution to Singaporeans through my work.

How has the scholarship improved your academic experience?

MAS was able to support my dream of studying overseas, which was a very enriching experience. While moving to a foreign country can be daunting, MAS was very helpful in supporting the transition. I was linked up with seniors from the MAS Scholarship who had also studied in the same country, so they could help you settle in and assuage any concerns. The scholarship team and the mentor I was paired with were also regularly in touch to share any support and advice I might need.

I also had the opportunity to complete several internships with MAS during my holidays. They gave me a glimpse into different facets and functions of the organisation and allowed me to develop an early sense of my post-university career preferences.

“By working with the bank to close these gaps, we can create a banking system which is even more trustworthy and customer-centric.” Joshua Sim

Tell us more about your university education. Why did you decide to study and how are you able to apply it to your work?

My economics tutor in Junior College did a great job of taking us beyond the economic theories we learnt in the classroom to demonstrate current examples of how these theories came to life. Concepts we learnt in economics could be applied not just to global events or market dynamics, but also to everyday decision-making and problem-solving. I saw economics as a useful lens through which to view the world around me and decided to pursue it further.

While my degree may not be directly related to my current role, it provided me with a strong foundation in analytical thinking and problem-solving. Through my studies, I honed the ability to abstract and simplify complex problems and to use scientific methods and empirical analyses to arrive at solutions. These skills have been invaluable in my current work, where I often need to analyse complex data and make informed recommendations based on that analysis.

In addition, MAS provides ample learning resources to help me stay up to date with developments in my field. For example, Trainee Officers like me are enrolled in the MAS Diploma, which contains relevant courses on banking supervision and financial analysis. Additionally, I have access to ad-hoc courses on emerging topics such as climate risk, digital assets and decentralised finance. These courses are useful in my supervision of banks as they build my understanding of key regulatory principles and the risks associated with current and emerging trends in the financial industry.

That’s really interesting! Tell us more about your role as a banking supervisor.

Simply put, I help uphold the safety and soundness of the banks I supervise and to maintain trust in Singapore’s banking system. My responsibilities range from evaluating the adequacy of banks’ risk controls through onsite inspections or offsite reviews to ensuring that banks are treating their customers fairly. A typical workday would include engagements with various stakeholders, including the banks and external regulators, as we foster the stability and strength of the financial system.

I have also had the opportunity to support colleagues within MAS who are working on key sustainability initiatives. These include enhancing the banks’ implementation of robust environmental risk management policies and processes, given that banks play a crucial role in the region’s transition towards an environmentally sustainable economy by channelling capital through their green financing and investment activities.

What I find most meaningful about my work is the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives. As a regulator, I have a responsibility to ensure that banks treat their customers fairly. When we receive cases from members of the public who feel slighted in their interactions with their bank, we have the chance to investigate and surface areas for improvement in the bank’s products or processes. By working with the bank to close these gaps, we can create a banking system which is even more trustworthy and customer-centric.

Joshua Sim

Joshua Sim

You certainly do vital work in that regard! What possibilities await individuals aspiring to become a part of the MAS team?

MAS has a unique role as a central bank and integrated financial regulator, with a range of functions across financial supervision, markets and development, sustainability, economic policy and technology. This allows us the chance to learn across different parts of MAS and to shift our focus areas as we develop our skills and expertise while making a difference in Singapore’s economic and financial development.

MAS believes that learning can emerge from many sources and takes a broad approach to our development. My colleagues and I can enjoy various developmental opportunities, including functional and general development training at different phases of our career with the organisation.

The organisation also values teamwork and offers a collegial work environment, in addition to promoting well-being through initiatives such as wellness ambassadors, meeting-free “Focus Friday” afternoons for learning and development, and designated Rest and Recharge weeks with no meetings in June and December as we intentionally slow down our pace of work. We also enjoy in-house recreation facilities and a gym to help us stay healthy and energised.