French regulators land Singapore signature

Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has locked in a deal with twin French regulators this week in a further bid to position itself at the centre of global fintech regulation and innovation.

The announcement comes as French president Francois Hollande met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday.

According to the MAS, the agreements with both the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel Résolution (Authority of Prudential Control and Resolution or ACPR) and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (Financial Markets Authority or AMF) include the initiation of a comprehensive joint framework covering a fintech trends and will also trigger shared information and joint innovation projects.

The new triumvirate linking the ACPR, the AMF and the MAS will also help fintech companies in both Singapore and France to facilitate, engage and share their understanding of regulatory requirements in each jurisdiction. The MAS regards this as essential in helping to improve trade and flow across the two markets.

The move is just the latest in a string of high-profile partnerships and initiatives the Singaporean authority has taken to ensure the city-state remains at the epicenter of developments in both financial technology and innovation.

While the MAS has bolstered relations with other regulatory authorities across the region, late last year the MAS turned its sights on Europe, signing an accord with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), which the authority said will further foster cooperation and development in the fintech space.

At its own inaugural fintech festival in November last year, attended by 11,000 delegates from 50 countries, the MAS announced a trial of its own digital currency for interbank payments using blockchain technology.
 

Fintech bridge

According to MAS managing director, Ravi Menon, the cooperation agreement underscores the commitment of the MAS and its partners to “promoting innovation in financial services".

Menon added that the MAS is seeking “closer interactions between our respective fintech ecosystems, more opportunities for our businesses, and greater convenience for consumers in both our countries".

Hollande told French press the leaders had “agreed to intensify cooperation on innovation” including the development of new technologies in financial services in France and Singapore as well as various agreements by research and academic institutions from both sides.

AMF Chairman, Gérard Rameix, said the accelerated pace of digital transition in financial services is bringing “deep-seated changes” in cross-border financial flows.

“The newly established fintech bridge between France and Singapore is an important step for innovative players willing to develop their activities internationally."

Rameix said that cooperation between the authorities will create significant synergies for both markets and greater understanding, “enabling fintech firms to extend their global reach and learn from their foreign counterparts".

Francois Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France (Bank of France) and chair of the ACPR, said he was delighted with the deal.

“Cooperation between MAS and ACPR will create synergies for our two markets and promote innovative services, products and applications that have the potential to benefit consumers, corporates and the wider economy,” Villeroy de Galhau said.

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