Singapore's central bank seals fintech deal with Thailand

The agreement eyes developing a richer financial ecosystem in the two countries as part of the bigger ASEAN region.

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The logo of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is pictured at its building in Singapore in this February 21, 2013 file photo. Reuters

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has inked a FinTech Cooperation Agreement (CA) in the efforts to strengthen the two countries' initiative of fostering the technology in the wider region.

The agreement eyes developing a richer financial ecosystem in the two countries as part of the bigger ASEAN region. It allows BOT and MAS to share information on burgeoning market trends and their impact on regulation. The deal also allows fintech firms in both countries to create a network.

For the two central banks, the signing of the deal signals a shared intent to explore and undertake innovation projects, especially those with potential cross-border applicability.

The signing of the deal comes with the updating of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Banking Supervision, which was agreed upon by the two banks in 2006. This deal will also boost the bilateral collaboration in safeguarding the resilience of their banking systems.

Compared to the old MOU, the new one defines in greater detail MAS and BOT's commitment to cultivate and advance greater information exchange and cooperation in areas such as licensing, on-site examinations, supervisory colleges, and crisis management.

MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon noted that the two central banks have been longstanding partners in promoting regional financial integration and supervisory cooperation.

"We also share a common interest in promoting innovation and growing the FinTech ecosystem to better serve ASEAN markets. The CA and the MOU are complementary, and reflect our joint commitment to capturing new opportunities in cross-border financial services while containing their risks," Menon said in a statement.

Meanwhile, BOT Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob stated how the updated MOU is another milestone in the development of their banking supervision and fintech cooperation.

"In our present era characterised by volatility, complexity and technological innovations, I believe that strengthening cooperation among our institutions will play a key role in fostering regional financial stability and sustainable growth," he said in a press statement.

"Cooperation on new financial technology will bring about greater financial inclusion and upgrade the provision of financial services to our region," he concluded.