ASIC talking to Singapore on fintech deal
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is talking to the Monetary Authority of Singapore about an agreement to ensure that regulation does not hinder the progress of fintech start-ups looking to operate across the countries’ borders.
Fintech regulation has been a key agenda item at recent meetings of peak financial regulators across the globe and although the discussions between ASIC and MAS are at an early stage, it is understood both regulators are enthusiastic about seeing a deal come to fruition.
The agreement would be based on a similar co-operation agreement between ASIC and the UK Financial Conduct Authority, which was signed just before Easter and was the first of its kind internationally.
Under the ASIC/FCA agreement, each regulator will refer to the other fintech businesses seeking to enter the other’s market, and provide support to start-ups that have been referred to them by the other regulator. Information about fintech innovation will also be shared between countries. “The forward-looking nature and the specific scope of the co-operation agreement are unique aspects of the arrangement, which it is hoped will drive innovation and collaboration across national borders,” King & Wood Mallesons said in a note to clients.
Closer collaboration between Australia and the UK, and potentially Australia and Singapore, on fintech regulation comes as leading financial regulators scramble to assess the impact fintech could have on global markets and financial stability.
Fintech regulation was a key topic of discussion at the recent meetings of both the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Financial Stability Board.
“Both have flagged fintech as a key priority warranting a co-ordinated multilateral response,” Greg Medcraft, ASIC chairman, told The Australian Financial Review’s Banking & Wealth Summit last Wednesday. “Though it is early days, the evolving thinking in both groups is in line with our approach domestically – that is working to harness the opportunities while mitigating the risks.”