Central bank of France to set up first Asian office in Singapore

Banque de France's Singapore office is expected to open in early 2020. Photo courtesy: Facebook/Banque de France
Banque de France's Singapore office is expected to open in early 2020. Photo courtesy: Facebook/Banque de France

The central bank of France or the Banque de France (BDF) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) jointly announced on Tuesday a bid to deepen financial linkages and foster closer cooperation in key areas.

As part of this effort, BDF will open an office in Singapore - its first office in Asia and second abroad, after New York. The Singapore office is expected to be open in early 2020. 

“We are delighted that the BDF is setting up an office in Singapore. BDF joins a growing community of central banks, sovereign wealth and pension funds that have decided to anchor their overseas offices in Singapore, to gain closer insights on economic and financial market developments in Asia,” said Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS.

MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon at the ongoing Singapore FinTech Festival. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@MAS_sg
MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon at the ongoing Singapore FinTech Festival. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@MAS_sg

In a statement, BDF said that it is expanding its presence in Asia in response to the growing importance of the region in the global economy and financial markets.

The office in Singapore aims to provide enhanced monitoring of Asian economies and financial systems, and forge closer relations with central banks and financial authorities in the Asia-Oceania region, the statement added. 

BDF will also set up a dealing room to strengthen its operational capacity to better serve international official sector entities in the Asian time zones.

Cooperation in cybersecurity​

Additionally, the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR), BDF and MAS will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance cooperation in cybersecurity, through regular information sharing on cyber incidents and threat intelligence.

The MOU will also provide for staff exchanges to deepen working relationships and mutual learning. The signing of the MOU will take place on the sidelines of the ongoing Singapore FinTech Festival and Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SFF x SWITCH) 2019.

“MAS and BDF & ACPR have a very good and close relationship: our presence, this year again, at the Singapore FinTech Festival, with the start-ups that we support, proves it. The future opening of a permanent office in Singapore will be a key step in strengthening our link with the Asian continent, which is highly important in today’s globalized world,” said François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor, BDF. 

“The MOU on cooperation in cybersecurity between ACPR, BDF and MAS is an important milestone for the two countries to strengthen cross-border cooperation and combat cyber risks,” added Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS.  

Strengthening FinTech cooperation with Canada

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has also signed a cooperation agreement with eight members of the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) to strengthen collaboration in FinTech between Singapore and CSA’s member jurisdictions. 

The members are the securities regulatory authorities in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan.

The agreement includes setting up a referral and support mechanism to make it easier for FinTech firms to access each other’s markets, regular exchange of views and best practices on the regulatory sandbox, and sharing information on latest FinTech trends.

“This agreement with MAS will allow innovative businesses in Canada and Singapore access to new regulated markets. Flexible regulatory environments with appropriate investor protection measures are best-placed to support the rapidly growing FinTech industry,” said Louis Morisset, CSA Chair and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers. 

The cooperation agreement exchange ceremony took place at the Canadian Pavilion at the Singapore FinTech Festival and Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SFF x SWITCH) 2019.

“Singapore and Canada are no strangers to FinTech collaboration. MAS and The Bank of Canada had successfully collaborated on Project Ubin to explore cross-border payments transactions using blockchain technology. With this agreement, I look forward to seeing stronger ties and cooperation between Singapore and the eight member jurisdictions of the CSA, specifically in developing innovative solutions for the securities sector,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS.

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CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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