Singapore and Hong Kong Join Forces to Support FinTech and Blockchain

The primary financial regulators of Singapore and Hong Kong, which also act as central banks, agreed on a collaboration to support financial technologies, including blockchain-based projects. Both cities are declared FinTech centers, and the partnership will consolidate the blockchain trends in the region.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) have entered an agreement to consolidate collaboration on financial technology between the two cities and support FinTech development. 

Despite being viewed as traditional competitors, the cities will work together to help financial technologies reach mass adoption. Both Hong Kong and Singapore declared themselves FinTech leaders many years ago. Now the cities’ regulators will cooperate for a blockchain project as part of their broader plan. 

Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the HKMA, commented on the agreement:

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

On the other side, MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon called it one of the most significant agreements:

“MAS is delighted to embark on this FinTech partnership with Hong Kong. This is one of our more significant FinTech co-operation agreements, given the extensive financial and trade linkages between Singapore and Hong Kong. We are especially pleased that we have a live project to enhance the trade finance corridor between the two financial centres.”

Earlier, HKMA collaborated with banks, including HSBC Holdings PLC and Standard Chartered PLC, to experiment with blockchain for a trading platform. 

The project was part of a broader trend, as financial and government institutions worldwide, such as Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, are searching for ways to streamline the letters of credit and other operations with the help of blockchain. 

Norman Chan of HKMA said that Hong Kong’s project could speed up processing of trade documents, and reduce frauds and human errors.

Singapore has also tested blockchain, but for a KYC Identity Prototype. We reported earlier that three Singaporean banks – OCBC Bank, HSBC Singapore, and the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, partnered up with media regulator Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IDMA), to develop a blockchain project.