Our members constitute a wide spectrum of banks and financial institutions ranging from major global banks to niche market players.

Membership is voluntary and open to banks and financial institutions operating in Singapore and licensed by the MAS – commercial banks, merchant banks and institutions carrying out investment banking type activities.

There are three categories of ABS Membership depending on the bank/institution’s MAS licence type. Membership fees are also based on the category of MAS licence held.

Ordinary membership - For commercial banks with full, qualifying full, wholesale or offshore bank licences.

Affiliate membership - For merchant banks and institutions undertaking investment banking-type activities.

Associate membership - For representative offices of foreign banks which do not conduct any banking business in Singapore.

Our Membership Structure Year
1973 2015 31 Jan 2016
Ordinary 54 120 119
Affiliate - 31 28
Associate - 7 7


Full Bank

Full Banks conduct a whole range of banking business for retail and corporate clients. The Full Bank licence is open to local and foreign banks but the latter enjoy less flexibility than their local counterparts in their branch and automated teller machine (ATM) networks.

Qualifying Full Bank (QFB)

Introduced on 20 October 1999, Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) licences are open only to foreign banks and allow them to have additional branches and/or off-premise ATMs as well as to share ATMs among themselves. In June 2001, under the second phase of banking liberation, the QFB privileges were expanded.

QFBs are allowed to:

Wholesale Bank

Wholesale Bank (WB) licences were first awarded in December 2001 and took effect on 1 January 2002. The WB licence replaced the Restricted Bank and the Qualifying Offshore bank licences to better reflect the wide range of activities that could be conducted. WBs engage in the same range of banking business as Full Banks except that they do not carry out Singapore Dollar retail banking activities.

The QFB and WB banking licences form part of MAS' programme to liberalise commercial banking in Singapore by promoting a more open and competitive environment and spurring local banks to develop and upgrade.

Offshore Bank

Offshore Banks were first set up in 1973 and operate mainly in the Asian dollar market, foreign exchange and wholesale banking with non-residents. With residents, the total loan amount involved, currently capped at S$500 million, must be approved by MAS.

Representative Office

Representative Offices do not conduct any regular banking operations but promote business and correspondent banking business between their home offices and the region.

As at 31 Jan 2016

Licence Type Ordinary Members Affiliate Members Associate Members
Local Banks Foreign Banks
Full Bank 5 18 - -
Qualifying Full Bank - 10 - -
Wholesale Bank - 51 - -
Offshore Bank - 35 - -
Merchant Bank/Capital
Market Services Licences advising on Corporate
- - 28 -
Representative Office - - - 7
Total 5 114 28 7