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ASIC enters into two new international fintech agreements


fintech innovation

The corporate regulator has announced cooperation frameworks with the US and Luxembourg.

Australia's corporate regulator has this morning announced cooperation agreements with the US and Luxembourg that will see a framework established for cooperation and support of innovation initiatives. The US agreement is with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) while the Luxembourg agreement is with the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF). Both agreements include fintech and regtech.

This is the first announcement regarding international fintech cooperation agreements in some months for the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). This is despite several agreements being made throughout the course of 2017 with countries and regions including Indonesia, New Zealand, Kenya, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi. Its ASIC's 15th agreement overall and its fourth fintech information-sharing agreement.

The agreement with the US is an arrangement that will see both countries share information regarding fintech market trends and developments. It will also facilitate referrals of fintech companies that interested in entering each other's markets and assist in the sharing of insights from each authorities' sandboxes, proofs of concept or innovation competitions.

"We are delighted to partner with our colleagues at the CFTC to help encourage fintech and regtech innovation in both Australia and the United States" said ASIC chair James Shipton. "Technological changes are continuing to reshape financial services, markets and the regulatory landscape. Today’s arrangement assists innovative businesses to grow across borders and allows for greater information sharing and cooperation by the two regulators."

ASIC's agreement with Luxembourg's CSSF will complement the "existing close relationship" already between them, according to ASIC's announcement. The two regulatory bodies had originally entered into a memorandum of understanding in 2013. This new agreement serves to provide a framework for cooperation between the two countries to understand financial innovation happening in their jurisdictions as well as fintech and regtech information sharing.

"We see this agreement as very timely," said ASIC commissioner John Price. "Both our jurisdictions are leaders in funds management and other financial services. ASIC is very interested in learning from the fintech and regtech innovations that are taking place in the Grand Duchy. We look forward to sharing ASIC’s experience with our Innovation Hub and regulatory sandbox initiatives."

Chief executive officer of the CSSF Claude Marx said that fostering their cooperation with ASIC "makes sense".

"Australia and Luxembourg are both strongly innovation-oriented jurisdictions, and we do think that such agreement will enhance our ability to adapt ourselves to the upcoming fintech challenges. We look forward to sharing views and experiences with our colleagues from the ASIC."

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