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Singapore, UK ink deals to deepen cooperation between both financial centres

SINGAPORE and the UK on Thursday inked agreements to enhance cooperation in data connectivity, talent development and green finance between the two financial centres.

These agreements were made at the UK-Singapore Business Summit held in London in commemoration of Singapore's Bicentennial.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of London on key areas of financial cooperation. These include facilitating data flows, enhancing cross-border "know-your-customer" processes, developing skills and competencies in the financial sector, and promoting green finance.

The agreement was signed by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, and chairman of MAS, and Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

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MAS and the City of London also agreed on a Partnership Arrangement on the UK's Green Finance Initiative, which will promote and apply principles of green and sustainable finance within the financial systems of Singapore and the UK. It seeks to harmonise standards, enhance environmental and climate risk disclosures, and strengthen green finance collaboration in the international environment.

In addition, the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore and the UK Chartered Body Alliance signed a Declaration of Intent to deepen collaboration in skills development for banking, capital market and insurance professionals. The collaboration includes sharing best practices and innovations in the development and delivery of training programmes, and facilitating mutual recognition of professional standards and certifications.

The MAS and the UK financial authorities – including the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority – also said that they would be cooperating further to strengthen cybersecurity and work towards an MOU to formalise their engagement.

The collaboration will involve MAS and the UK financial authorities identifying effective ways to share information and exploring the potential for staff exchanges. Financial authorities in Singapore and the UK already cooperate on cybersecurity, both bilaterally and by supporting the Basel Committee's work to develop the best practices for supervising cyber risk in banks.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, noted that the average cost of cybercrime for financial services companies globally has increased by more than 40 per cent over the past three years.

"Cyber risk is not constrained by geographic boundaries, making international cooperation essential to address this growing threat," he said.

Mr Tharman said: "The initiatives we are working on – data flows and governance, cybersecurity, skills development and green finance – will enable continued dynamism and stability in Singapore's and London's financial centres. I look forward to the continuing, active collaborations between our authorities as well as between our partners in the financial industry."