The UK and Singapore deepened financial and economic cooperation in January 2015 with the holding of the first of regular dialogues between HM Treasury for the UK and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on domestic and international financial issues.
The inaugural UK-Singapore financial dialogue (Dialogue), held on 28 January 2015 in Singapore, was chaired by HM Treasury’s Director General for Financial Services, Charles Roxburgh and MAS Deputy Managing Director, Jacqueline Loh. Besides HM Treasury and the MAS, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority and Singapore’s Ministry of Finance also attended.
Discussions covered the global economy, financial regulatory reforms and financial market development including offshore Renminbi (RMB), fintech and payments, project finance, Islamic finance and insurance and asset management.
Further collaboration was identified between the countries to promote:
- Project finance in South East Asia, including through public private partnerships
- Development of the global Islamic finance market
- Financial integration in ASEAN, particularly in capital market development. Both countries welcomed the launch of the TheCityUK’s ASEAN Market Advisory Group, a private sector initiative to deepen trade and investment ties between the UK and South East Asia, including Singapore
- Tackling of financial crime, including implementing the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards on transparency of beneficial ownership and on the issue of de-risking, where financial institutions terminate or restrict business relationships with clients to avoid, rather than manage, risk in line with the FATF’s risk-based approach
Alongside the Dialogue, a private sector-led forum was held on 27 January 2015 to boost cooperation in developing the offshore RMB market. Representatives of 161 financial institutions from both the UK and Singapore discussed how to promote fungibility of the RMB globally, encourage innovation in RMB products and services and meet the growing appetite for RMB investment instruments.
The Dialogue was set up when Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne made his first trip to Singapore in 2014. The next Dialogue will be held in London in 2016.