FCA and ASIC Sign Enhanced Cooperation Agreement for Fintech Innovation

The agreement is an extension of a deal inked in 2016, as regulators aim to increase cooperation

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on Thursday signed an Enhanced Cooperation Agreement, with each side committing to a collaborative effort to promote Fintech innovation.

The countries already have a similar cooperative agreement in place, which was previously signed by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Australian Treasurer. The Enhanced Cooperation Agreement further extends the country’s efforts to work together in the development of new technologies for the financial services sector.

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More specifically, both regulators have agreed to expedite the process of innovative businesses obtaining licenses when the requesting entity has already received regulatory approval from the other jurisdiction.

In addition, the bodies will also coordinate the hosting of Fintech and Regtech events, as well as conducting joint policy efforts and research and experimentation. The sides will also work together to raise prevalent topics with the aim of promoting international cooperation on the innovation of financial technology development.

“Today’s enhanced agreement underscores the FCA’s and ASIC’s commitment to a deeper level of cooperation on Fintech,” Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, said. “Cooperation between regulators is a vital part of helping innovative businesses across international jurisdictions to flourish and bring their products to market for the benefit of consumers,” he continued.

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“Back in 2016 when we signed the original agreement with ASIC, we stated that we hoped that it would be the first of many to come. I am pleased to say that this has certainly been the case,” he added.

Both the FCA and ASIC have also agreed to use their innovation hubs in the assessment of innovative products and services by referring Fintech companies to each other in an effort to assess the industry and to provide each other with support and advice.

Furthermore, the FCA has also suggested establishment of a global sandbox, where Fintech companies could conduct testing across several regulatory jurisdictions simultaneously, which would help firms to create new solutions for regulatory requirements, as well as induce easier cooperation between global regulators.

The FCA will accept feedback for the new global ‘sandbox’ concept from other regulatory authorities including ASIC, as part of the process of creating such a cross-border cooperative system that could benefit the Fintech industry.

Meanwhile, ASIC Commissioner John Price said: “ASIC and the FCA have developed an immensely beneficial relationship on FinTech, including through our quarterly information sharing calls. We are delighted this extension will offer FinTechs the opportunity to spread good ideas across borders. We will work together to raise topics and approaches of common interest at an international level.”


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