Singapore and UK agree on partnership for financial services

LONDON/SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES, REUTERS) – Singapore and Britain have agreed on a partnership for financial services which will see the two countries exploring opportunities for greater cooperation such as in enhanced information sharing and regulatory deference.

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to mark the new partnership on Wednesday (June 30).

Representatives from both countries signed another MOU to enhance bilateral cyber-security cooperation, including sharing cyber-related information and supervisory best practices.

Mr Shanmugaratnam said that the enhanced financial partnership between the two countries is “important and timely”.

“With UK hosting COP26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in November, and Singapore pushing ahead with its Green Finance Action Plan to support Asia’s transition to a low carbon economy, our collaboration will add momentum to sustainable finance, climate-related financial disclosure, and the development of carbon markets. These are areas where it is critical and urgent to forge international alignment.”

He added that the strengthened regulatory cooperation will “provide a framework for the growth of new activities in both our markets” as technology accelerates transformation in the financial-services industry.

Mr Sunak said the agreement shows that the UK is “both open to the world and committed to maintaining the highest standards of regulation”.

“Our financial partnership will help increase investment and trade with Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region and boost collaboration on important areas such as fintech and green finance,” he said.

The partnership was inked at the sixth UK-Singapore Financial Dialogue that was held virtually on Wednesday. Both sides discussed and agreed on several areas of interest, such as regulatory cooperation, accelerating green finance and encouraging the development of carbon markets.

Both countries will also explore collaborating on a biodiversity pilot study, which will examine how nature-related risks will affect the financial system.

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