Explaining the Differences Between Banks and Licensed Money Lenders Singapore

Differences Between Banks and Licensed Money Lenders SG

Explaining the Differences Between Banks and Licensed Money Lenders Singapore

In today’s financial landscape, individuals and businesses have various options when it comes to borrowing money or seeking financial services. Two common sources are banks and licensed money lenders. While both offer financial solutions, there are distinct differences between them. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore and explain the differences between a bank and a licensed money lender in Singapore, shedding light on their operations, services, and regulations.

What are the Differences Between Banks and Licensed Money Lenders in Singapore?

Understanding the variances between banks and licensed money lenders is crucial for individuals seeking financial assistance. Let’s delve into the key distinctions between these two entities.

BanksLicensed Money Lenders
OwnershipCommercial entities or financial institutionsPrivate entities or individuals
RegulationGoverned by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)Regulated by the Ministry of Law
ServicesFull range of financial services (savings accounts, loans, investments)Focus primarily on lending money
Interest RatesGenerally lower interest ratesLower interest rates than credit cards
Eligibility CriteriaStringent requirements and credit checksLess stringent requirements and credit checks
Loan Approval TimeLonger approval process due to extensive proceduresFaster approval process, often within hours
Loan AmountsHigher loan amounts availableGenerally smaller loan amounts
CollateralMay require collateral for secured loansMay not always require collateral
Credit Score ImpactNegative impact on credit score if loan defaults occurCredit score impact can vary
AccessibilityWidespread presence and multiple branchesFewer physical locations

Understanding the Banking System

What are banks?

Banks are financial institutions that offer a comprehensive range of financial services to individuals and businesses. They are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and are known for their stability and reliability.

What services do banks offer?

Banks provide a wide array of services, including savings accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits, loans, credit cards, insurance, and investment opportunities. They act as custodians of people’s money and play a vital role in the economy by facilitating transactions and managing financial risks.

How are banks regulated?

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the regulatory authority responsible for overseeing banks and financial institutions in Singapore. It sets guidelines and monitors their operations to maintain stability, safeguard customer deposits, and ensure compliance with financial regulations.

What are the advantages of using a bank?

Using a bank offers several benefits, such as access to a variety of financial services, the ability to establish credit history, safety and security of funds, and convenience through online banking platforms and widespread branch networks.

Understanding Licensed Money Lenders

What are licensed money lenders?

Licensed money lenders are private entities or individuals authorized by the Ministry of Law to provide loans to borrowers. They cater to individuals who may not meet the strict eligibility criteria set by banks or require faster loan approval.

What services do licensed money lenders offer?

Licensed money lenders primarily focus on providing loans to borrowers. They offer personal loans, business loans, payday loans, foreigner loans, and other forms of credit. Their services are designed to address immediate financial needs and bridge short-term gaps.

How are licensed money lenders regulated?

The Ministry of Law regulates licensed money lenders in Singapore. It sets guidelines and imposes regulations to protect borrowers from unfair lending practices and ensure transparency in loan terms and conditions.

What are the advantages of using a licensed money lender?

Licensed money lenders offer advantages such as faster loan approval, more flexible eligibility criteria, accessibility for borrowers with lower credit scores, and smaller loan amounts for short-term financial needs. They provide an alternative source of financing when traditional banks are not an option.


Understanding the differences between banks and licensed money lenders is crucial for making informed financial decisions. Banks offer a comprehensive range of services, while licensed money lenders focus primarily on providing loans. Banks are subject to stricter regulations and offer lower interest rates, while licensed money lenders provide more accessible options for borrowers with diverse financial needs. It’s important to consider individual circumstances, loan requirements, and financial goals when choosing between these two sources of financial assistance.

If you like this article, you may want to read this article about 5 Serious Consequences of Not Repaying a Payday Loan Explained.


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