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    MAS Publishes Summary of Developments at Singapore Fintech Festival

    November 19, 2019

    MAS published a summary of the key developments during the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) and the Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH), also known as SFF X SWITCH. Sustainability and Climate Change was an overarching theme at this event, which took place between November 11 and November 15. The inaugural SFF x SWITCH featured innovative technologies to catalyze cross-industry exchange and learning in technology adoption, application of research and development, and the commercialization of new technology solutions.

    The following are the key highlights of this event: 

    • Minister Ong Ye Kung unveiled the green finance action plan of MAS to strengthen green financing capabilities in Singapore and announced the launch of a USD 2 billion Green Investments Program, among other initiatives under the action plan.
    • Heng Swee Keat unveiled the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy of MAS in a keynote speech and highlighted the introduction of a new Veritas framework by MAS to promote the responsible adoption of artificial intelligence in the financial sector. He also announced expansion of the Global Innovation Alliance network to include London and launch of the Open Innovation Network by Enterprise Singapore and Infocomm Media Development Authority to promote open innovation across sectors. 
    • MAS and BIS jointly launched the BIS Innovation Hub in Singapore, to foster innovation and greater collaboration among the central banking community globally. 
    • MAS also established partnerships with financial authorities in Canada and France, to strengthen cooperation in fintech and cyber-security respectively and welcomed the opening of an overseas office by BDF in Singapore in early 2020.
    • SFF x SWITCH 2019 saw new partnerships as well as progress in ongoing initiatives with the industry. The projects include Project Ubin (Phase 5), which explores the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology for clearing and settlement of payments and securities. Enterprise Singapore launched the inaugural Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge in partnership with corporates and government agencies to tackle problem statements spanning sustainability themes in resource efficiency, zero waste, green transport, and sustainable built environment. Also, MAS, Deloitte, and S&P Global Market Intelligence jointly developed a prototype for an industry-wide FinTech Research Platform to help investors and financial institutions connect with FinTech start-ups that they can partner with or invest in.

    The event celebrated the winning solutions of the Global FinTech Hackcelerator, FinTech Awards, and SLINGSHOT 2019, respectively. SFF x SWITCH concluded the week with the Innovation Lab Crawl and Industry Events (14-15 November), which saw over 20,000 visitors across over 50 innovation labs and more than 30 workshops and networking events held around Singapore. The Singapore FinTech Festival was organized by MAS, in partnership with The Association of Banks in Singapore and in collaboration with SingEx Holdings, while SWITCH was organized by Enterprise Singapore, the National Research Foundation, and Intellectual Property Intermediary (IPI) in partnership with SingEx.

    MAS also hosted the 55th SEACEN Governors’ Conference/High-Level Seminar and the 39th meeting of the SEACEN Board of Governors on November 13-14, 2019 in Singapore in conjunction with the SFF X SWITCH event. The Conference/High-Level Seminar consisted of two panels. The first panel on “A Data-Driven Economy” discussed the role and impact of data and digital borders in an increasingly interconnected digital economy. The second panel on “An Artificial Intelligence-Driven Economy” discussed how regulators can support the financial industry to better harness the transformative potential of artificial intelligence and data analytics in a responsible and ethical manner.  The appropriate ethical and innovative uses of data and artificial intelligence will require a concerted effort by central banks, regulators, and the financial services industry.  Governors deliberated the future role and prospects for artificial intelligence and machine learning in the provision of financial services. Three issues were deemed to be paramount: governance of data, the explainability of the results, and human accountability for the artificial intelligence and machine learning output. Governors felt that the adoption of such technologies should be guided by social acceptance underpinned by strong governance.


    Keywords: Asia Pacific, Banking, Insurance, Securities, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, SFF X SWITCH, Blockchain, Climate Change Risk, Cyber Risk, Sustainable Finance, MAS

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