The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has signed a co-operation agreement with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong to foster collaboration between the two regulatory authorities towards the promotion of financial innovation.
Under the agreement, the FCA and SFC, which oversees Hong Kong’s banking, securities and exchange industries, will work together on a number of initiatives such as referrals of innovative firms, joint innovation projects, information exchange and experience sharing, to facilitate financial innovation in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
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In addition, the co-operation framework will enable the regulators to share information about financial services innovations, reduce barriers to entry in a new jurisdiction and further encourage innovation in both countries.
The latest agreement follows several other collaborations that the FCA has instigated with international authorities including Singapore, South Korea, China and Australia, and is part of its statutory objective to make financial services markets work well. Promoting competition through innovation forms a significant part of the regulator’s mission, it said.
Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, commented: “Co-operation agreements are absolutely vital in fostering an environment of Fintech innovation on a global scale. In the last few months alone we’ve signed agreements with colleagues in China, Japan, Canada and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Working with other regulators internationally, we want to build a common understanding of the principles of good innovation and we look forward to working closely with the SFC.”
Mr Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “This agreement will help both regulators stay abreast of innovation in financial services while providing innovative Fintech firms seeking to develop and grow their businesses internationally with enhanced channels for communicating with regulators.”