Singapore and the UK have agreed to set up a financial dialogue, which will focus on deepening financial and economic co-operation with the two nations. This dialogue will form the basis for a structured and regular exchange of views on international and domestic views. Led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Treasury for the UK.
The two countries have two of the world’s best financial centres, acting as financial hubs for Europe and Asia. This new increased dialogue was agreed after a meeting in Singapore on 24th February between Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Minster for Finance, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
After the meeting George Osborne said, “I am delighted to be able to announce the new UK-Singapore financial dialogue. The UK and Singapore are both leading financial centres. Sharing our knowledge and expertise will open up new opportunities for both of our economies and help the UK succeed in the global race.
Alongside the dialogue, the ministers also agreed to support the establishment of a new, private sector forum to boost the development of the offshore Renminbi market. The forum will be helped by the private sector and focus on increasing co-operation between the UK and Singapore markets
Tharman Shanmugaratnam also said, “The UK-Singapore financial dialogue reflects our common interests in promoting a stable and vibrant international financial system, and will help strengthen what is already a solid base of economic and financial co-operation. The new private sector forum will also help advance co-operation as we each play our role in developing the offshore RMB market.
This announcement comes two years after George Osborne agreed a similar agreement with Hong Kong, by far the largest offshore Renminbi centre, which aimed to turn London into an offshore trading centre for the currency. He also visited Beijing signing a deal to allow direct Renminbi-Sterling trading and to allow Chinese banks to set up branches in the UK.
London is developing as Europe’s offshore trading hub for China’s currency. An example of recent financial co-operation between the two nations is Fullerton Fund Management, a Singaporean based investment management firm, which is in the process of establishing an office in London. They will shortly be applying for a licence from the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s independent regulator. They specialise in Asian and emerging market investment solutions. It aims to increase the competitiveness of London as an asset management centre by delivering improvements to the UK’s tax and regulatory environment alongside an overseas marketing campaign that has promoted the UK as an asset management centre across the globe.
On the move George Osborne said, “Fullerton’s decision to move to the UK represents a firm vote of confidence in the global strengths of the UK’s asset management industry and in the UK’s position as the leading centre for investment management in Europe.”
The London office will be Fullerton’s first outside of Asia. It will enable Fullerton to build new partnerships in the UK and better service and develop its client base in Europe.
Mr. Daniel Godfrey, Chief Executive of the Investment Management Association said, “We’re delighted that Fullerton Fund Management, a leading investment specialist with expertise across all asset classes, has decided to establish an office in London from which to base its European operations. This decision reflects the UK’s competitive strengths as an international hub for investment management and the partnerships between the UK and Singaporean industries.”
What benefits will this new dialogue bring to the UK and what effect will it have on the economy?