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    US-Singapore Statement on Transfer of Financial Data Across Borders

    February 06, 2020

    MAS published a joint statement, by the U.S. and Singapore, on the financial services data connectivity across their borders. US and Singapore support allowing financial service suppliers to transfer data across borders and oppose generally applicable data localization requirements as long as financial regulators have access to the data needed for regulatory and supervisory purposes. This is because data localization requirements can increase cyber-security and other operational risks, hinder risk management and compliance, and inhibit financial regulatory and supervisory access to information.

    The United States and Singapore recognize that the ability to aggregate, store, process, and transmit data across borders is critical to financial sector development. The expanding use of data in financial services and the increasing use of technology to supply financial services offer a range of benefits, including greater consumer choice, enhanced risk management capabilities, and increased efficiency. These developments also pose new and complex risks for markets and challenges for policymakers and regulators. Data mobility in financial services supports economic growth and the development of innovative financial services and benefits risk management and compliance programs, including by making it easier to detect cross-border money laundering and terrorist financing patterns, defend against cyber attacks, and manage and assess risk on a global basis.

    The United States and Singapore also intend to share information on developments related to these issues and, as appropriate, encourage third countries to adopt policies consistent with this joint statement. Based on this shared understanding, US and Singapore intend to seek to promote adoption and implementation of policies and rules in bilateral and multilateral economic relationships to facilitate the following goals:

    • Ensure that financial service suppliers can transfer data, including personal information, across borders by electronic means if this activity is for the conduct of the business of a financial service supplier
    • Oppose measures that restrict where data can be stored and processed for financial service suppliers as long as financial regulators have full and timely access to data needed to fulfill their regulatory and supervisory mandate
    • Ensure that financial service suppliers have the opportunity to remediate the lack of access to such data before being required to use or locate computing facilities locally

    Keywords: Asia Pacific, Singapore, Banking, Data Connectivity, Fintech, Cyber Risk, Operational Risk, AML/CFT, MAS

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