The UK and Singapore have forged a new agreement to deepen cooperation on fintech in order to boost trade and innovation. At their seventh Financial Dialogue in Singapore this month, the countries agreed on mutual priorities including sustainable finance.
At the Financial Dialogue, the UK and Singapore agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the UK-Singapore FinTech Bridge. The Bridge seeks to support continued growth, investment, and technological innovation in this sector, building on active interest of fintech players in the areas of payments, regtech and wealth management.
Both countries also welcomed opportunities the industry can deliver in relation to financial inclusion, enhanced innovation, and improved outcomes for consumers.
Building on existing ties
The FinTech Bridge MoU builds on:
- a co-operation agreement between Financial Conduct Authority and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) signed on 11 May 2016
- the June 2021 MOU between Her Majesty’s Treasury and MAS on financial services regulatory cooperation
- the Free Trade Agreement signed by the UK and the Republic of Singapore in December 2020
- the Digital Economy Agreement signed by both countries in February 2022
Investment in the UK fintech sector has reached $9.1billion – a 24 per cent year-on-year increase from H1 2021. Meanwhile, across the same period, Singapore ranked as South East Asia’s leading jurisdiction for fintech investment, and the sixth globally.
A welcomed announcement
Andrew Griffith MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury said: “The UK and Singapore are among the world’s leading jurisdictions for fintech investment. Today’s announcement will only accelerate growth and innovation in our respective sectors. The MoU we’ve announced today is crucial. I would like to thank the Monetary Authority of Singapore for their constructive engagement throughout discussions.”
While Janine Hirt, CEO of Innovate Finance, commented: “A MoU between UK and Singapore will deliver a strengthened framework for vital regulatory and policy discussions between the two countries, enable innovation across financial services, and ensure businesses based in both the UK and Singapore have the ongoing support for their ambitions for growth to be realised.
“We look forward to supporting future financial dialogues and business to business activity between these markets. We are also delighted to be working with the key organisations engaged to promote the opportunities this bridge has to offer, and to welcoming fintech businesses to IFGS and UK FinTech Week next year.”
Policy makers from both countries will meet regularly with the fintech sector to work to remove regulatory barriers to trade. Two industry-led UK-Singapore business roundtables on sustainable finance and fintech took place on 24 November 2022.