The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority have jointly announced that they would be working together to strengthen cybersecurity in their financial sectors. MAS and the United Kingdom (UK) authorities will commence work towards a Memorandum of Understanding to signify this enhanced collaboration.

The collaboration will involve MAS and the UK financial authorities identifying effective ways to share information and exploring the potential for staff exchanges.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England said that 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.

MAS also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of London on key areas of financial cooperation including data flows, enhancing cross-border “know-your-customer” processes, developing skills and competencies in the financial sector, and promoting green finance.

The agreement was signed by Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, senior minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, and Chairman of MAS, and Mr Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

MAS and the City of London also agreed on a Partnership Arrangement on UK’s Green Finance Initiative. The Partnership Agreement will promote and apply principles of green and sustainable finance within the financial systems of Singapore and the UK. It seeks to harmonise standards, enhance environmental and climate risk disclosures, and strengthen green finance collaboration in the international environment.

In addition, the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) and the UK Chartered Body Alliance (CBA) signed a Declaration of Intent to deepen collaboration in skills development for banking, capital market and insurance professionals. The collaboration includes sharing best practices and innovations in the development and delivery of training programmes, and facilitating mutual recognition of professional standards and certifications.

The proposed collaboration builds on existing bilateral partnerships between SIngapore and the UK which include support for the Basel Committee’s work to develop the best practices for supervising cyber risk in banks and contributing to the Financial Stability Board’s Cyber Lexicon.