S'pore to guarantee all Singdollar, foreign currency deposits

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SINGAPORE: The Singapore government said it would guarantee all Singdollar and foreign currency deposits of individual and non-bank customers in licensed banks, finance companies and merchant banks.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Finance said the guarantee of up to S$150 billion will be well in excess of possible liabilities arising from the failure of any financial institution.

The guarantee takes immediate effect and will remain in place until 31 December 2010. It will also be extended to deposits placed with credit co-operatives registered with the Registry of Co-operative Societies.

Currently, there are 41 credit co-operatives providing thrift and loan services to more than 200,000 members.

The guarantee will be backed by S$150 billion of the reserves of the Singapore government.

The move follows similar action by governments around the world in recent days as they sought to deal with the current global financial crisis.

Singapore has assured that its banking system continues to be sound and resilient, but it said precautionary action must be taken to avoid an erosion of the banks' deposit base and to ensure a level international playing field for banks in Singapore.

The total amount of deposits in Singapore is understood to be valued at about S$700 billion.

Ministry of Finance and Monetary Authority of Singapore Joint Press Statement.


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