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MAS issues guidelines for fintech regulatory sandbox

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 11:31

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has published guidelines for financial institutions and other players looking to enter a regulatory space that allows them to try out new financial technology (fintech) services on a limited scale.

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has published guidelines for financial institutions and other players looking to enter a regulatory space that allows them to try out new financial technology (fintech) services on a limited scale.

The document, released on Wednesday, outlines details such as the objectives and principles behind such a space, called "sandbox", and MAS' evaluation criteria for entry into the sandbox.

Said MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh: "The regulatory sandbox provides a conducive environment where regulatory requirements will be relaxed to enable firms to experiment with promising innovation within boundaries."

The guidelines were released after a month-long public consultation that closed in July. Forty-eight responses were received. Respondents included banks, accounting firms, telecommunications companies, investment firms, industry associations, and dozens of others who requested for confidentiality.

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MAS expects sandbox applicants to have the intention to deploy the financial service on a broader scale within Singapore after exiting the sandbox.

The test scenarios and expected outcomes of the sandbox experimentation should also be clearly defined, and the sandbox entity should report to MAS on the test progress based on an agreed schedule.

MAS said it is considering some legal or regulatory requirements that it intends to maintain for the sandbox. Some of these include confidentiality of customer information, prevention of money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

There are, however, others that can be relaxed. These include, among others, requirements on financial soundness, credit rating, reputation and track record of the applicant.

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