Britain, Singapore agree to deepen fintech links

The UK and Singapore on Friday announced an agreement to boost their financial technology sectors, seeking to remove trade barriers and encourage cooperation.

The news marks Britain’s latest commercial agreement outside Europe following its departure from the European Union at the start of last year.

Friday’s memorandum of understanding “will come into effect next week once formalities have been completed on both sides”, the UK government said in a statement after talks in the city state.

The deal extends a 2016 accord, which established a so-called “fintech bridge” of cooperation between regulators and businesses.

And it follows a partnership, inked in 2021, to further discuss areas like sustainable finance, innovation, and in particular the burgeoning fintech industry.

“This (memorandum) will increase the cooperation and sharing of information on emerging trends in the fintech sector,” the statement added.

“It will also break down barriers to trade for UK and Singaporean fintechs, boosting growth and investment opportunities.”

Andrew Griffith, a junior Treasury minister working for finance minister Jeremy Hunt, added that Friday’s news was “crucial”.

“The UK and Singapore are among the world’s leading jurisdictions for fintech investment — and today’s announcement will only accelerate growth and innovation in our respective sectors,” he added.

Ever since Brexit, the UK has chased new trade agreements — particularly for its key financial services sector that was not covered by a post-Brexit EU deal.

London, however, is still dominant in Europe when it comes to fundraising for fintech.

UK startups raised $15.6 billion in venture capital in the first five months of 2022, half of which was for the technology sector according to data provider Dealroom. — Agence France-Presse

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