As a global team, we pay attention to financial regulatory and fintech events happening around the world. In that spirit, we are reporting on some intriguing new regulatory initiatives that were announced at the Singapore FinTech Festival in relation to artificial intelligence (AI) and the intersection of sustainability, finance, and technology. Regulation will underpin many of these initiatives and it will be key for government to work with business and lawyers to ensure the law is robust, is fit for purpose, and can keep pace with the raft of proposals.
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat announced several new projects to help his nation remain current with technology as a way to assist the economy and improve Singapore citizens’ lives. The projects—all part of Singapore’s new “National AI Strategy”—include the development of a chatbot to allow Singaporeans to report municipal issues, including subject matter details, and receive identification of the appropriate government agency to resolve the matter. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) reported improving linkage and collaboration with French and Canadian markets.
In another development, a payments issuer processor said it will launch a new Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore. Further underscoring the significant “green” and sustainable initiatives discussed at the event, MAS reported launching a new $2 billion fund investing in funds with a green focus, as well as new green finance initiatives and an upcoming consultation on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria for financial institutions. Speakers, including MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon, World Wide Fund for Nature International President Pavan Sukhdev, and MAS board member and Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung, placed much of the first day’s focus on green and sustainable finance topics.
On the private sector side, a collaboration to establish a new research platform allowing investors and financial institutions to connect with fintech startups was announced. In addition, a global open-architecture platform revealed it had built a digital bank in a mere five days by collaborating with 10 fintech application programming interfaces (APIs).
Given Singapore’s emergence as a global financial center and hub for financial innovation, these announcements signal a new and important phase for Singapore’s fintech offerings and the regulatory landscape, which will be part of the foundation for the National AI Strategy. We look forward to learning more about the regulatory developments and will continue to share their effects and emerging opportunities.