MAS signs pact to bolster S'pore-China fintech collaboration

Academic exchanges and research cooperation in the fast-growing area of fintech received a boost yesterday with the signing of a new agreement.

Its aim is to increase collaboration between business communities, academia and think-tanks from Singapore and China.

The pact between the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the non-profit Asia-Pacific Future Financial Research Institute (AFF) involves both parties facilitating cooperation among financial institutions in the two countries to benefit their consumers using fintech.

"Singapore and China have been longstanding partners on many fronts," said MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty.

"This agreement is another step towards closer collaboration between the fintech ecosystems of Singapore and China to benefit consumers and businesses."

AFF executive president Du Yan said the fintech era requires more international communication and cooperation, while regulators from different jurisdictions need to promote innovation in financial services to enhance inclusion. The agreement was signed before the FinTech Roundtable, which was co-organised by the MAS and AFF.

Separately, China and Singapore have renewed a bilateral currency swap agreement worth 300 billion yuan (S$60 billion) for three years, it was announced yesterday.

It allows the People's Bank of China and the MAS to access foreign currency liquidity to support trade and investment financing needs, including projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, and to stabilise financial markets, MAS said.

The original arrangement between the two central banks was established in 2010 and renewed in 2013 and 2016.

Ms Michele Wee, head of financial markets for Singapore at Standard Chartered Bank, said the arrangement will continue to promote economic resilience and financial stability. "Given that Singapore is the largest commodity trading hub in the region and an increasingly popular choice for regional treasury centres, Singapore's status as one of the largest offshore RMB (Chinese renminbi) centres in the world will remain," she said.

THE BUSINESS TIMES, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2019, with the headline 'MAS signs pact to bolster S'pore-China fintech collaboration'. Print Edition | Subscribe