UK and Singapore agree collaboration pact on fintech and digital currencies
UK and Singapore officials have agreed a pact for collaboration on fintech and sustainable finance, emphasising the development of digital assets and currencies as well as sustainable finance, at a meeting in London.
Representatives from HM Treasury and the Monetary Authority of Singapore agreed on global regulatory standards for digital assets and crypto under the Financial Stability Board as well as international standard setters including IOSCO.
The countries also shared insights on the development of the UK Digital Pound and scope for a digital Singapore Dollar, which would facilitate the sharing of data and improved Central Bank Digital Currency foreign exchange.
Responding to the news, Ganesh Viswanath Natraj, assistant professor of finance at the Gillmore Centre for Financial Technology, commented: “International collaboration in key areas such as fintech is vital for UK innovation as we continue to establish ourselves as a leading centre to do business. Digital assets continue to play a prominent role in fintech development, and it is promising to see the UK positioning itself as a primary contributor in global regulatory standards, but it is also important that this does not hinder R&D.”
“The development of the digital pound, in particular, can have a transformative impact on the UK economy, boosting financial inclusion, increasing the effectiveness of monetary policy, as well as facilitating more efficient cross-border payments.”
Meanwhile, Sheeraz Saleem, chief technology officer at DKK Partners, said: “It is great to see the UK taking a lead internationally in the development of digital assets in an attempt to lower the cost of foreign exchange and support cross-border trade. At a time when the UK economy is battling rising inflation and interest rates, it is important to explore ways in which government, regulators and the Bank of England can take greater control of the economy, and the knock-on impacts of digital currencies can have hugely positive implications for UK PLC.”
The UK and Singapore also discussed the ‘urgent’ need for scalable financing to support economic transitions to net zero.
Representatives agreed on transparent transition plans that include reduced fragmentation, scalable transition finance and support for sustainability in finance, alongside the support of international global standards from the International Organization of Securities Commissions.
Laimonas Noreika, CEO of HeavyFinance, commented: “Sustainable finance should be at the heart of government and business actions, and it is encouraging to see international discussions around transition finance and international standards as part of this. Collaboration in economic emission reductions is an important step for global governments to improve their climate actions, but it is important that real action is taken off the back of it to ensure a positive climate impact. Sustainable investments such as Article 9 funds is one option that can ensure positive climate action, giving support and funding to carbon reduction projects.”
The UK and Singapore also agreed to strengthen collaboration on Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) data and promote global coordination and common expectations.