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First ever FinTech bridge Established Between Britain and Singapore

The new FinTech Bridge will help UK FinTech firms and investors access the Asian market and expand to Singapore, as well as attracting Singaporean FinTech companies and investors to the UK.

Singaporean officials and FinTech companies gathered with UK FinTech companies in Downing Street to celebrate the launch of the UK’s first ever FinTech Bridge, which included the signing of a regulatory cooperation agreement between the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The agreement will enable the regulators to refer FinTech firms to their counterparts across the globe. It also sets out how the regulators plan to share and use information on financial services innovation in their respective markets.

The announcement is a major milestone for both UK and Singapore.

For the UK, this is in line with the government’s commitment to ensure the UK remains the global FinTech capital of the world. The UK FinTech sector is going from strength to strength. It generated £6.6 billion revenue in 2015 and has a workforce of over 60,000 employees.

For Singapore, the announcement underscores the government’s commitment to build a smart financial centre that is among the best globally for innovation and dynamism.

It reflects the shared view that FinTech (and this FinTech bridge) presents an opportunity to scale the use of technology to improve financial services, across two major global financial hubs.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin, attended the FinTech event at Downing Street and said:

I am delighted to announce that we are launching the first “FinTech Bridge” with Singapore. This is a great opportunity for the FinTech industry in both the UK and Singapore – and builds upon the deepened financial and economic cooperation between the two countries. Forging this bridge with Singapore is the next step on our journey to ensure that the UK and Singapore both remain outstanding FinTech centres.
Christopher Woolard, Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, said:

We are delighted to sign this co-operation agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Financial Technology and Innovation Group. This will help innovative firms from Singapore that want to bring new ideas to the UK, helping the FCA fulfil our objective of promoting competition in the interests of consumers. At the same time, this agreement will give those British firms with new ideas who want to expand into Singapore support, making them potentially more sustainable challengers in the UK.

Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said:

The FinTech bridge that is forged with the UK is a significant step forward in our FinTech journey. It will support FinTech innovators who wish to use Singapore as a base for collaboration and as a gateway to other markets in Asia. Singapore’s vibrant FinTech ecosystem is well-positioned to serve the Asian market, the fastest growing region in the world. The agreement between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Financial Conduct Authority will also create opportunities for Singapore-based companies to grow and scale into the UK market.

At the No.11 Downing Street event, the Chancellor’s Special Envoy for FinTech, Eileen Burbidge, also chaired a panel discussion with UK and Singapore FinTech companies who have made the leap to expand internationally.

The launch of the FinTech bridge coincided with the second UK-Singapore Financial Dialogue which was held in London and aims to facilitate deeper financial and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The UK-Singapore Financial dialogue was chaired by Charles Roxburgh, Director General (Financial Services) of HM Treasury, and Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director (MAS), and attended by senior officials from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

The agenda covered a broad range of issues including the global economy, EU and ASEAN regional developments, RMB internationalisation and developments in green finance.