Brunei's financial system is operated by a currency board which regulates the issue and management of the currency. There are laws that govern and regulate the activities of banks and financial institutions, designed to ensure a stable and fiscally sound business environment.
The Brunei dollar is at par with the Singapore dollar and both are freely traded in their respective countries. The trend of interest rates follows that of Singapore. The peg to the Singapore dollar has helped maintain a stable macroeconomic environment. There are currently no exchange controls in Brunei.
The Brunei dollar appreciated (grew in value) steadily for years until the beginning of the Asian economic crisis in 1997, when the depreciation of currencies in neighboring countries caused the Brunei dollar to weaken in 1997 and 1998. The Brunei dollar continued to appreciate against these neighboring currencies but was offset by its depreciation against the U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, and major European currencies. This combined effect helped moderate imported inflationary pressures since ASEAN members account for 45 percent of Brunei's total imports, while the United States, Japan, and Europe account for 39 percent.