London and Singapore ink partnership for the future

The City of London Corporation and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to deepen exchanges and collaboration in financial services between two leading international financial centres.

The agreement will aim to boost cooperation in a number of areas including financial data sharing, Know-Your-Client (KYC) processes, skills and training and green finance. It will be signed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Peter Estlin, and Singaporean Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the UK-Singapore Business Summit, an event being held at Guildhall on June 13 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the City State.

The summit will focus on how both cities can further collaborate for mutual benefit. It features a number of speakers and panellists, including City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness, Singaporean Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung and UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field MP. A report will also be released detailing opportunities for future cooperation between the two international financial centres.

In addition to the MoU, a partnership agreement will also be signed between the City Corporation’s London’s Green Finance Initiative and MAS to allow both parties to explore areas which will further green the financial system, and promote green investment opportunities

Lord Mayor of the City of London, Peter Estlin said:

“London and Singapore have a long and prosperous history of collaboration going back 200 years to the founding of the city state.

“While there is plenty of healthy competition between our two cities, there are also many areas where we can collaborate for mutual benefit.

“I am therefore delighted to be signing this memorandum of understanding, which is a milestone moment and a shining example of how two leading international financial centres can work together.”

Shortly after the UK-Singapore Business Summit, a ceremony will be held to award the Freedom of the City of London to Senior Minister Tharman, in recognition of his efforts to strengthen UK-Singapore ties and significant contributions to global financial governance.

Singapore Senior Minister Tharman said:

“Singapore and Britain have a special and longstanding relationship based on our intertwined histories and a shared future.

“Sir Stamford Raffles making Singapore a free port 200 years ago laid the seeds for Singapore’s identity as an open trading nation and society.

“We have drawn many lessons from London in developing Singapore – especially the City’s rise to become the pre-eminent global centre that it is – and today, we deepen our collaborations in a number of key areas.”

Total UK-Singapore trade stood at over £9.5 billion in 2017, up nearly £2 billion on 2016, and nearly a billion of which is in financial services. There are 55 Singapore financial firms in the City of London employing nearly 1,000 people, and five Singaporean multi-national companies list on the London Stock Exchange to raise capital. London also acts as a key offshore hub for currency trading in Singapore dollars, with the leading share of 22% of the market and an average of $27 billion traded daily in the UK in 2016, compared with $2 billion in Japan and $16 billion in the US.

The Freedom of the City of London is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade. Today, people are nominated or apply for the Freedom because it offers them a link with the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions.


Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

For more information contact:

Nathan Rodgers
Financial Services Media Officer
City of London Corporation
44 (0)207 332 3451
44(0)7864 625086