The United Kingdom and Singapore announced a landmark financial services partnership (the "Financial Partnership") on 30 June 2021, at the 6th UK-Singapore Financial Dialogue.

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Singapore and UK to Strengthen Financial Services Partnership

July 2, 2021
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OrionW

During the sixth UK-Singapore Financial Dialogue held on 30 June 2021, the two countries announced a landmark financial services partnership to develop a more comprehensive and enhanced financial services relationship and improve regulatory collaboration (the “Financial Partnership”).  Rishi Sunak, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Senior Minister and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) supporting the Financial Partnership.  

To drive new and broader opportunities for financial services trade and cooperation, the UK and Singapore will explore opportunities for greater financial cooperation, including enhanced information sharing, closer cooperation in international fora, and regulatory deference.  

The two countries signed a separate MoU to strengthen bilateral cyber security cooperation, which includes sharing cyber-related information and supervisory best practices.  This MoU will improve cooperation and flexibility in the financial services industry for cybersecurity issues that may affect both countries.  

Areas of Joint Interest

During the Financial Dialogue, the countries agreed on the following areas of mutual interest:  

Regulatory cooperation – the UK and Singapore reviewed potential areas for increased collaboration, particularly in cross-border financial regulation, as well as trends in the global asset management industry, including the worldwide standard of portfolio delegation.  

Green finance and carbon markets — the two countries committed to speed up green finance and promote the development of carbon markets, with a focus on taxonomy interoperability to ease cross-border sustainable financial flows.  They also discussed continuing climate change activities and reaffirmed their support for required climate-related financial disclosures and reporting standards. The countries will also encourage the private sector to develop a market for high quality voluntary carbon credits.

Fintech and stablecoins - both sides talked about the latest developments in fintech and stablecoins, as well as their various regulatory approaches, and agreed to continue sharing information. The Bank of England presented its discussion paper on new forms of digital money and Singapore highlighted progress on its review of e-wallet payment limits.

According to Mr. Shanmugaratnam, “The enhanced financial partnership between the two countries is important and timely. With the 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.  The strengthening of regulatory cooperation between our two countries also comes at a time when financial services are undergoing accelerated transformation through technology, and will provide a framework for the growth of new activities in both our markets.”

For more information

OrionW regularly advises clients on matters related to financial services regulation.  For more information about the Financial Partnership, or if you have questions about this article, please contact us at info@orionw.com.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice.

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