Manama, Nov. 13: The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to foster innovation in financial services between the two countries.
The MoU aims at mutual cooperation, supervision and support between the Central Bank of Bahrain and Monetary Authority of Singapore to facilitate the exchange of information on trends and developments in emerging fintech and innovation projects in Bahrain and Singapore. The MOU will also contribute to a common framework to help fintech companies prepare for regulatory requirements in both countries.
Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the CBB said, "This MOU represents our ongoing cooperation with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and marks an important milestone in the mutual efforts undertaken by both authorities in enhancing our Fintech ecosystems".
As part of the CBB’s ongoing initiatives towards financial digital transformation in the Kingdom of Bahrain and to ensure the provision of more efficient financial services, the CBB formed a dedicated Fintech & Innovation Unit. The Fintech & Innovation Unit is responsible for the supervision of companies authorized to provide such services, in addition to monitoring technical and regulatory developments in the Fintech field.
On this occasion, Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said,"This MoU represents our ongoing commitment and efforts to introduce and improve both the regulatory framework and ecosystem needed to support the ambition of Bahrain FinTech Bay. We are very excited about the opportunities that FinTech presents in the region and in Bahrain’s ability to serve as a hub for innovation in this sector. Financial Services now accounts for 17% of the total GDP, and we are confident that the Kingdom will continue to strengthen its position as a FinTech leader, regionally and globally while preparing for a future in which technology is going be a game changer."
Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS, said, "In recent years, FinTech has created new linkages between the Middle Eastern and South East Asian regions. With this MOU, we look forward to strengthening these linkages and expanding opportunities for FinTech firms in Bahrain and Singapore."
In August 2015, MAS formed a Financial Technology & Innovation Group (FTIG) within MAS to drive its Smart Financial Centre initiatives. FTIG is responsible for formulating regulatory policies and developing strategies to facilitate the use of technology and innovation to better manage risks, enhance efficiency, and strengthen competitiveness in the financial sector.
Both the CBB and MAS are members of the recently established Global Financial Innovation Network, a group of 12 regulators that have committed to conduct joint work in financial innovation, stability, integrity, customer outcomes and inclusion.
The signing of the MOU took place on the sidelines of the Singapore Fintech Festival 2018.