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 (including blockchain, digital assets and AI in finance), and Derivatives & Structured Products (both transactional and regulatory).
In the regulatory space, he has advised financial institutions on the regulatory landscape in Singapore, including licensing and regulatory requirements applicable to financial market infrastructures, banks, securities and derivatives dealers, fund managers, financial advisers and other financial intermediaries, and derivatives trade reporting, clearing, trading, and margin requirements. He has also advised on carbon credit projects and transactions, FinTech providers (including prospective digital bank, AI solutions providers, crowdfunding platforms, robo-advisers and payment service providers), blockchain platforms, cryptocurrency/digital token exchanges, dApp and DeFi projects, tokenisation projects, metaverse and game companies, as well as initial coin offerings (ICO) / security token offerings (STO) and issuers of stablecoins and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), 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.

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of business being effected from BSI Bank, whose regulatory status as an approved merchant bank in Singapore was being withdrawn by the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS").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 major bank with a global presence in Asia, UK and U.S. in relation to its project involving the issuance of fiat-backed stablecoins and the development of cross-border payment rails using blockchain technology. This stablecoin project aims to enable faster and more transparent cross-border payments, lowering costs and complexity for the bank's customers.

  • A major video game / interactive entertainment software company on financial regulatory and licensing issues under Singapore law in relation to its proposed global launch of an online gaming platform incorporating the use of NFTs, cryptocurrencies and other GameFi elements.

  • A US company in relation to the issuance of digital tokens that represent a portfolio of voluntary carbon credits managed by it on an unallocated basis.

  • Coinhako, a Singapore-incorporated digital assets service provider, on the financial services licensing and regulatory requirements under the Payment Services Act 2019 ("PSA") applicable to its operation of a cryptocurrency exchange, and the various other incidental services that it intends to carry out. We have assisted Coinhako in becoming among the first cryptocurrency exchanges to successfully obtain a payment services licence under the PSA to provide digital payment token services.

  • 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
  • LegisWatch (2023), Singapore Carbon Tax Regime: Eligibility Criteria for International Carbon Credits
  • NUS TRAIL (2023), The Evolution of Money: Legal and Policy Considerations in a Digital Age
  • Thomson Reuters (2023), Singapore Crypto-assets Regulation Guide
  • Butterworths Journal of International Banking & Financial Law (2022), Decentralised finance (DeFi): a game-changer or just a passing fad?
  • SAL Practitioner (2019), A Guide to Digital Token Offerings: Monetary Authority of Singapore's Roadmap for Regulation of Blockchain-based Digital Tokens
  • IFLR1000 (2017), Developments in the regulation of digital advisory services

Sion Yoong is recognised in various major legal publications for his specialities in Financial Services Regulation, Derivatives & Structured Products and Fintech. He is ranked as a distinguished practitioner by Euromoney asialaw 2023, a highly regarded lawyer by the IFLR1000: Financial & Corporate 2023, a Band 3 lawyer by Chambers Global Guide 2024 Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide 2024, and a recommended lawyer by The Legal 500: Asia Pacific Guide 2024, for Financial Services Regulatory. Sion Yoong is commended for being “commercially driven”, “very dependable”, having “great insights into complex regulatory frameworks” as well as his “ability to transform complex legal issues into client-oriented advice”. He is also praised for being “well versed in matters concerning carbon regulations”.

He is also recognised as a Next Generation Partner by The Legal 500: Asia Pacific Guide 2024, an Up and Coming lawyer by Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide 2024, and a Rising Star by IFLR1000 - Rising Star Awards Asia Pacific 2022 for Structured Finance, Securitisation & Derivatives. Clients have praised him for being “able to understand cutting-edge and novel transactions, is always reachable and able to guide his clients confidently”, as well as being “extremely patient in advising and guiding clients through complex legal and regulatory issues”.

On the FinTech front, Sion Yoong was recently ranked as a Band 3 lawyer by the Chambers FinTech Guide 2024 and a recommended lawyer by Who’s Who Legal: Fintech & Blockchain 2023. A FinTech client expressed being “thoroughly impressed with the commercial awareness and vision demonstrated by Sion Yoong”, and that “[h]is deep understanding of the business landscape and ability to provide legally sound yet commercially viable advice has been instrumental in guiding [the client’s] business decisions”.