Asia Newsletter | August 2021

Asia Newsletter

NEWSLETTER: ESG remains a key theme for regulators globally and is often a topic for debate among my international colleagues. The pace of change in Singapore and Hong Kong certainly isn’t abating. The MAS has issued its inaugural sustainability report, explaining how Singapore will transition to a green economy, the finance sector will increase its resilience to environmental risk and, of course, the work the MAS is doing to reduce its own carbon footprint.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong the SFC has concluded its consultation on the climate-related risks to be managed and disclosed by fund managers – the FMCC will be amended to reflect these, affecting those managing collective investment schemes.

It was pleasing to read in the MAS’ recent Annual Report that, despite the challenges that the pandemic created, Singapore’s financial sector grew by 5.1% in 2020. AUM increased by an impressive 17% from 2019 levels, with approximately half of the growth driven by inflows and the remaining from valuation gains. And investment in Singapore’s FinTech firms grew 30% year-on-year.

In this edition of the newsletter we consider the response to a parliamentary question about the MAS’ new payments licencing regime which provides some useful insights, in particular for DPT players, the Hong Kong SFC’s new competency framework, and lessons that can be learnt from the MAS’ recent financial crime related enforcement cases.

Billie-Jo Dixon
Practice Lead, Singapore

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