The UK and Singapore recently participated in the 7th UK-Singapore Financial Dialogue, where a memorandum of understanding on the UK-Singapore Fintech Bridge was agreed.
The Fintech Bridge seeks to support continued growth, investment, and technological innovation in the sector, building on active interest of fintech players in the areas of payments, regtech and wealth management.
Both countries strongly welcomed this deepened co-operation on fintech and the opportunities the industry can deliver in relation to financial inclusion, enhanced innovation, and improved outcomes for consumers.
Joint interests in sustainable finance as well as fintech and innovation were also discussed, including:
- Transition finance. Recognising the importance of transition plans and pathways to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels, both countries agreed to explore collaboration opportunities, working with partners such as the UK Transition Plan Taskforce and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero’s (GFANZ) Asia Pacific office, to drive international consistency in design and disclosure of transition plans.
- Disclosure standards. The parties affirmed their strong commitment to the implementation of International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) disclosure standards. Both countries will continue to work with the IOSCO, the ISSB and other international organisations to implement a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related disclosure standards that is interoperable with jurisdiction-specific requirements. They also committed to phase-in mandatory climate-related financial disclosures that provide consistent, comparable and decision-useful information for market participants and financial authorities.
- Greenwashing. The two countries discussed efforts to combat greenwashing, including in relation to sustainability disclosures and sustainable investment product labels. It was agreed that regulators should continue discussing how to adopt a global, coherent and co-ordinated approach on regulatory oversight of ESG ratings and data products providers, grounded in IOSCO’s recommendations.
- Natural capital and biodiversity. Both countries agreed on the importance of a globally consistent framework for nature-based disclosures and exchanged views on how the efforts of the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) can contribute to the ISSB’s global baseline.
- Cryptoassets sector. Both countries shared their latest assessments of market developments, opportunities, trends and longer-term expectations for the cryptoassets sector. They also discussed risks and challenges relating to financial stability, regulatory arbitrage and shared their progress in strengthening rules on consumer protection and developing the regulation of stablecoins. There was strong agreement on the need to support the safe development of a digital assets ecosystem while ensuring that risks posed by digital assets are consistently managed. Both countries will continue to actively participate in the shaping of robust global regulatory practices through engagement within international multilateral fora such as the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and IOSCO.
- E-wallets and digital banking. Singapore provided updates on the progress of its review of e-wallet caps and expected next steps. Both countries discussed the recently released consultation, with the UK providing views on the key proposals. Singapore also updated on the new digital banks that recently launched operations in Singapore.
The next Dialogue is scheduled to take place in London in 2023.