TIAN Sion Yoong is a Partner in the Financial Services Regulatory, the Derivatives & Structured Products and the FinTech Practices.
His main practice areas are financial services regulatory, FinTech, blockchain, and derivatives & structured products (both transactional and regulatory).
In the regulatory space, he has advised financial institutions on the regulatory landscape in Singapore, including derivatives trade reporting, clearing, trading and margin requirements, and licensing and regulatory requirements applicable to financial market infrastructures, banks, securities dealers, financial advisers and other financial intermediaries. He has also advised a number of FinTech providers (including prospective digital bank, crowdfunding platforms, robo-advisers and payment service providers), blockchain platforms, cryptocurrency/digital token exchanges, dApp and DeFi projects, as well as initial coin offerings (ICO)/security token offerings (STO) and stablecoin issuers on various licensing, regulatory and transactional matters.
In the derivatives transactional space, he has assisted numerous clients (including general corporates and regulated entities such as banks, insurance companies and REITs) with the preparation, review and/or negotiation of their derivatives documentation, including the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) master agreements, confirmations and credit support and collateral management documentation.
Sion Yoong also has experience with bond issuances, structured note programmes, securitisations and other forms of structured finance. He also has prior experience as in-house counsel in a major investment bank supporting its foreign exchange (FX), rates and credit trading businesses in both transactional and regulatory matters.
Sion Yoong graduated from the National University of Singapore and is admitted to the Singapore Bar.

Significant transactions that Sion Yoong has been involved in include advising / acting for the following:

  • EFG Bank on the unique regulatory issues which arose from the statutory transfer of business being effected from BSI Bank, whose regulatory status as an approved merchant bank in Singapore was being withdrawn by the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS"). The statutory transfer of business took place as a parallel process to the global acquisition of BSI and its subsidiaries by EFG International. This was the first time in over 30 years that MAS had ordered a merchant bank to be shut down.
  • A consortium comprising local and overseas corporations, in respect of their application to MAS for a digital wholesale bank licence. This marks the first time that MAS is issuing banking licences to applicants of non-bank parentage under a new digital bank licensing regime.
  • Xfers, an e-money issuer, in respect of its cutting-edge use of blockchain-based stablecoins to represent e-money for payment transactions.
  • IBM in relation to its roll-out of the IBM Blockchain World Wire, a real-time global payments network facilitated through the use of blockchain digital assets.
  • Binance Asia, in relation to its establishment and operation of a fiat to cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore. Binance Asia is a related corporation of Binance, which is the operator of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Temasek Holdings, is an investor of Binance Asia.
  • A major European bank on legal and regulatory issues pertaining to the issuance of equity-linked retail structured notes in Singapore.

Related Practices

  • Derivatives & Structured Products
  • Financial Services Regulatory
  • FinTech
  • Butterworths Journal of International Banking & Financial Law – Inside and outside Singapore’s proposed FinTech regulatory sandbox: balancing supervision and innovation 2016
  • IFLR1000 – Developments in the regulation of digital advisory services 2017
  • SID Directors Bulletin – Understanding Initial Coin Offerings 2019
  • SAL Practitioner – A Guide to Digital Token Offerings: Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Roadmap for Regulation of Blockchain-based Digital Tokens 2019

Sion Yoong is a recommended lawyer in The Legal 500: Asia Pacific – The Client's Guide to the Asia Pacific Legal Profession for the areas of Financial Services Regulatory and Structured Finance, Derivatives and Securitisation. He is commended for having "very good domain knowledge in blockchain technology and the accompanying legal issues".