Asia-Pacific rivals secure fintech collaboration pact


The chief financial regulators of Hong Kong (HKMA) and Singapore (MAS) have agreed to formally support fintech cooperation between the cities – considered global centres of fintech innovation.

The agreement, signed in Hong Kong, will see the traditional rivals collaborate on several key initiatives, including joint innovation projects, business referrals, information sharing, and exchange of expertise, with the goal of facilitating innovation across both cities.

Norman Chan, chief executive of the HKMA, said the agreement would foster unprecedented cooperation between the traditionally rival markets, which have for decades vied for the position of Asia’s preeminent financial hub.

 “Hong Kong and Singapore are the two leading international financial centres in the region and are actively deploying fintech,” said Chan. “Collaboration between the HKMA and MAS will create significant synergy for the development of fintech and more efficient fund flows between the two markets.”

The regulators have also committed to delivering a joint strategy on cross-border trade finance infrastructure based on blockchain technology.

Ravi Menon, MAS managing director, said the formal collaboration was “one of our more significant fintech cooperation agreements, given the extensive financial and trade linkages between the cities.

“We are especially pleased that we have a live project to enhance the trade finance corridor between the two financial centres,” Menon said.

Fintech has assumed a preeminent role across both Hong Kong’s and Singapore’s financial services markets.

Upwards of 80 per cent of Hong Kong’s financial services institutions, and 89 per cent of Singapore’s financial incumbents see collaboration with fintech companies as inevitable, according to 2017 survey by PwC.