Bank for International Settlements to set up innovation hub here, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Bank for International Settlements to set up innovation hub here

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Move reflects S'pore's position as fintech centre

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) will set up an innovation centre in Singapore, in a move the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said reflects the Republic's position as a leading fintech centre.

BIS is dubbed the central bank for the world's central banks.

Similar centres will first be set up in Basel, Switzerland, and Hong Kong under the umbrella of the organisation's innovation hub to identify and develop insights into critical trends in technology affecting central banking, said BIS yesterday.

The hub will also develop public goods in the technology space geared towards improving the functioning of the global financial system and serve as a focal point for a network of central bank experts on innovation.

The move is the latest in recent fintech developments here.

Last Friday, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said Singapore will issue up to five new digital bank licences, paving the way for non-bank players to break into the local financial service scene.

Global professional services firm EY reported last week that the fintech adoption rate among Singapore consumers jumped from 23 per cent to 67 per cent in the last two years, higher than the global average of 64 per cent.

Chairman of BIS' board of directors Jens Weidmann said the innovation hub will enable central banks to extend existing collaboration with a view to identifying relevant trends in technology and keeping abreast of regulatory requirements, with the aim of safeguarding financial stability.

Mr Mark Carney, chair of BIS' economic consultative committee, added: "There is a new economy emerging, driven by changes in technology, demographics and the environment.

"While the private sector is driving these innovations, its efforts will be more effective if the hard and soft infrastructure of the global financial system support this innovation, promote resilience and level the playing field on which to compete."

MAS said the centre "reflects Singapore's position as a leading international fintech centre", with an advanced ecosystem. It will start operations once institutional arrangements - including its location and staffing arrangements - have been finalised.