UK and Thailand Sign FinTech MOU

UK and Thailand Sign FinTech MOU

The U.K. has signed an MOU on financial services with Thailand.

The new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed on Monday (Jan. 9) and publicized on Tuesday (Jan. 10), will see the two nations strengthen their partnership to support the financial services sector in each country.

The latest MOU follows a previous one signed in 2020 that created a partnership between the U.K. government and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC Thailand) that saw British government agencies support their Thai counterparts in various areas. These included setting accounting standards, developing the Thai FinTech ecosystem, promoting sustainable finance, and supporting the implementation of electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) technology and cybersecurity.

The new agreement will focus on supporting Thailand to further develop the regulatory environment for its FinTech sector, further promote sustainable finance, and increase awareness of sustainable investment in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, the U.K. government said in a statement.

“FinTech and sustainable finance are key areas emphasized by SEC Thailand,” Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, secretary-general of SEC Thailand, said in the announcement. “We strongly believe that the new MoU with the UK Government will support the enhancement of the financial ecosystem as well as promote the development for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”

Mark Gooding, the U.K.’s Ambassador to Thailand, added, “Financial services are a key driver of the modern economy. We are proud to take another step in our long-time partnership with SEC Thailand with a particular focus on the cutting edge of finance: FinTech and sustainability.”

While not legally binding like trade agreements, Memoranda of Understanding are strategic diplomatic tools that governments use to encourage collaboration and enable more fruitful dialog and exchange between participants.

For the U.K., while negotiations on several proposed post-Brexit trade deals, including one with the U.S., have stalled, MOUs have been deployed in a number of instances to support the country’s financial sector.

For example, recent examples signed with Singapore and Korea have used the concept of the “FinTech bridge,” to enable more frictionless trade in services and ease cross-investment between the U.K. and its partners.

Both the U.K.–Singapore and the U.K.–Korea FinTech bridges were designed to provide a formalized framework for cooperation between regulatory, tax and customs authorities, covering policy issues, trade and investment.

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