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HSBC hosts Singapore fintech companies as part of UK Fintech Week. Shayan Hazir comments.

This week is UK Fintech Week, an opportunity to showcase the reasons why the UK has retained its position as a top destination for fintech investment in Europe.

Despite a hugely challenging global market, last year the UK received $12.5bn of venture capital investment; this success can be attributed to the maturity of the UK’s fintech ecosystem and the unparalleled opportunities available for global collaboration. 

As one of the events at this year’s UK Fintech Week, HSBC is hosting a delegation of fintechs from the Singapore Fintech Association and co-hosting a roundtable with the Department of Business and Trade for Asia Pacific Fintechs, who are visiting the UK this week to discuss insights and opportunities available in the UK and across Europe for growth and expansion.

This work will build upon insights from HSBC and City UK’s fintech roundtable held during the seventh UK-Singapore Financial Dialogue in 2022, where HM Treasury and UK regulators, including the Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority, discussed collaboration between fintechs and financial institutions, the challenges faced by fintech companies and how financial institutions such as HSBC can work with fintechs to support them with their international transition. 

Indeed, through our Global HSBC Ventures teams and New Economy Fund – a $200m pool of assets to support high-growth, loss-making new economy businesses – we continue to experiment with and invest in companies, such as tax experts TAINA in the UK, and provide funding or financing to support them as they expand internationally and explore new markets.

The UK and Singapore have long had a collaborative relationship supported by the establishment of the UK-Singapore fintech bridge seven years ago. 

It makes sense that [Asean‘s] growing digital demand can be led by the UK and Singapore

This innovative partnership is the first of its kind to be set up by the UK to help UK fintech firms and investors access the Asian market and expand to Singapore, and help those who wish to use Singapore as a base for collaboration and as a gateway to other markets in the Asean region, as well as to attract Singaporean fintech companies and investors to the UK. 

There is a clear opportunity for fintechs on both sides of this corridor: according to the World Economic Forum’s forecast, Asean will become the world’s fourth largest economy in the coming decade. It therefore makes sense that the region’s growing digital demand can be led by the UK and Singapore. 

For Singapore, it underscores the government’s commitment to building a smart financial centre that is among the best globally for innovation. For the UK, collaborating with Singapore in this way represents an important opportunity to scale the use of technology to improve financial services across two major global financial hubs. 

With the UK additionally able to provide valuable investment and act as a strategic ally and adviser in support of Asean’s reform agenda across the digital and tech sectors, the two fintech hubs could form a framework which can be replicated across southeast Asia. 

As evidenced by the UK-Singapore corridor, the potential for collaboration is limitless. It is meaningful international collaboration that will enhance the future success of fintechs.

Shayan Hazir is chief digital officer, south-east Asia, HSBC Singapore.


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