UK and Australian regulators sign enhanced cooperation agreement

The FCA and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have signed an enhanced cooperation agreement to extend their existing agreement of cooperation and coordination on fintech innovation.

This agreement is part of the larger fintech bridge signed by the UK chancellor of the exchequer and the Australian treasurer.

In the enhanced cooperation agreement, the FCA and ASIC have both agreed to explore ways to speed up the licensing process in terms of the authorisation of innovative businesses that are already authorised in the other jurisdiction.

Where a business is a participant in either authority’s regulatory ‘sandbox’ and would like to join the other’s, both regulators will endeavour to facilitate that participation.

The pair are also looking to co-host fintech and regtech events, conduct joint policy work, research and experimentation, and explore secondment opportunities.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “[The] enhanced agreement underscores the FCA’s and ASIC’s commitment to a deeper level of cooperation on fintech.

“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.

“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.”

Signing the enhanced agreement, John Price, ASIC commissioner, added: “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 fintech’s the opportunity to spread good ideas across borders.

“We will work together to raise topics and approaches of common interest at an international level.”

Under this new agreement, the ASIC and the FCA will continue to refer innovative fintech businesses to each other for advice and support through their respective innovation hubs.

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