UK-based regtech ClauseMatch has launched Southeast Asian (SEA) operations out of Singapore, per a press release.
The startup’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering helps banks and financial institutions (FIs) manage regulatory compliance processes by streamlining internal policies, standards, and controls; one way it does this is through AI.
ClauseMatch’s Asia expansion via Singapore is a trend we expect to intensify:
- For regtechs, Asia’s traditionally fragmented regulatory environment is a boon.Although numerous established banks operate in the region, many have expanded their footprint by acquiring local banks. Asia’s fragmented landscape means that managing internal compliance between different regional banks is challenging, offering players that ease these burdens a significant addressable market.
- Asia remains a hotbed of economic growth and financial services innovation, making it an attractive region for fintechs from Europe and beyond. The region’s estimated economic growth of 5.5% for 2018 accounts for almost two-thirds of global growth, per the IMF. This dynamic economic outlook, combined with a lack of financial services infrastructure and rapid internet penetration, makes the region ideal for fintechs looking to expand beyond hugely competitive mature markets like the US, Europe, and increasingly China.
- Singapore’s advanced financial services infrastructure makes it the ideal launchpad for firms targeting the wider region. The former British colony’s highly regulated market possesses significant parallels to the UK’s own regulatory landscape. This regulatory equivalence coupled with the fact that English and Mandarin are official languages reduces friction for players from the three major global economies. And amid the fallout from Brexit, we could see a number of British players jettison the country to set up base in Singapore: Dyson, the UK-based technology firm, recently relocated its headquarters to the city-state, for instance.
- Moreover, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS’) progressive regulatory approach has made the city-state attractive for financial services innovation. Among these initiatives are an expedited patent-granting process for fintechinnovations and a marketplace lending committee; further, it has also set guidelines for responsible AI and data analytics use. At the end of last year, three major international players — Bank of China, Deutsche Bank, and Australia’s Westpac — all launched innovation hubs in the city-state. The fact that so many established players are gravitating to Singapore illustrates how attractive MAS’ regulatory approach has been.
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