FinTechCyber Security & FraudBoE, FCA, and MAS to collaboration on cybersecurity

BoE, FCA, and MAS to collaboration on cybersecurity

As hosts to global financial centers and fintech firms, Singapore and the UK have much to benefit from enhanced collaboration on cyber security

The Bank of England (BoE) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), two of the three main financial regulators in the UK, are to collaborate with The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to strengthen cybersecurity in their financial sectors.

The authorities will commence work toward a Memorandum of Understanding once MAS and the UK financial regulators identify effective ways to share information and explore potential for staff exchanges.

In addition to cybersecurity, Singapore and the UK have also agreed to cooperate in facilitating data connectivity, cross-border KYC, talent development and green finance.

A partnership arrangement between MAS and London will seek to promote and apply principles of green and sustainable finance within the two financial systems, and also seek to harmonize standards, enhance environmental and climate risk disclosures, and strengthen green finance collaboration in the international environment.

Deepen collaboration

In addition, Singapore’s IBF (Institute of Banking and Finance) and the UK’s CBA (Chartered Body Alliance) signed a Declaration of Intent to deepen collaboration in skills and competencies development for the banking, capital market and insurance sectors. The collaboration involves best practice sharing and training programme innovation, and mutual recognition of professional standards and certifications.

In addition to cybersecurity, Singapore and the UK have also agreed to cooperate in facilitating data connectivity, cross-border KYC, talent development and green finance.

The agreements were made at the UK-Singapore Business Summit held in London in commemoration of Singapore’s Bicentennial.

Cybersecurity: Not constrained by geographic boundaries

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, said: “The average cost of cybercrime for financial services companies globally has increased by more than 40% over the past three years. Cyber risk is not constrained by geographic boundaries, making international cooperation essential to address this growing threat. That’s why I’m pleased the Bank and the Prudential Regulation Authority are working with the MAS toward a Memorandum of Understanding on financial sector cyber security. This aligns with the work we are doing with a number of other countries to enhance global collaboration on cyber risk.”

Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the MAS, said: “Cyber risk is a growing threat to the financial ecosystem. Effectively managing this risk will be the new frontier in international supervisory co-operation. I am very pleased that MAS and the Bank of England have resolved to work closer together in promoting the cyber resilience of our financial sectors.”

Andrew Bailey, Financial Conduct Authority Chief Executive said: “Cybercrime is an ever increasing global problem, particularly in the financial services sector. It creates risks not just for individual customers’ money and data but for the UK economy. We will only be able to tackle this if we work together across industry and regulators to combat the threat it poses. Working closely with our global partners will help us to detect and respond to potential threats and attacks. I am pleased the FCA can work together with international partners, like MAS, to enhance cyber security in the financial sector.”

Mutual desire to promote cyber resilience

Financial authorities in Singapore and the UK already cooperate on cybersecurity, both bilaterally and by supporting the Basel Committee’s work to develop the best practices for supervising cyber risk in banks and contributing to the FSB (Financial Stability Board)’s Cyber Lexicon.

FCA and MAS share a mutual desire to promote cyber resilience in financial services in their respective markets. The authorities believed that through co-operation with each other, they will be able to further cyber security in their respective markets.

Cybersecurity is one of the most keenly discussed topics in the financial sector. Many of the experts agree that the industry has progressed significantly in the way it deals with cyber threats. Despite these views, cyber threat is a moving target. Cyber criminals are determined to find new and creative ways to target systems putting pressure on firms to continuously advance their cyber security programmes.

A new report published in April this year by SWIFT has highlighted how the cyber threat landscape faced by treasury professionals is evolving.

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