ASIC has signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), providing a framework for cooperation to support and understand financial innovation in each jurisdiction.  As well as information sharing, the FRSA and ASIC are able to refer innovative businesses to the FRSA’s Regulatory Laboratory and ASIC’s Innovation Hub for advice and support under the agreement.

This agreement is significant as the United Arab Emirates, where the ADGM is located, is Australia’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and the ADGM regulates private banking, wealth and asset management – key sectors for fintech activity.

This agreement follows similar individual agreements between ASIC and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA), and Indonesia’s Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK).

Under ASIC’s agreements with the CMA and OJK, the regulators have committed to sharing information in their respective markets relating to emerging market trends and the regulatory issues arising as a result of growth in innovation.  Under ASIC’s agreements with the SFC, FCA, MAS and OSC, the regulators will also be able to refer to one another innovative businesses seeking to enter the others’ market.  Under ASIC’s agreement with the FCA, innovative businesses will also be given help during the authorisation process with access to expert staff and, where appropriate, the implementation of a specialised authorisation process. Following authorisation, the businesses will have a dedicated contact for a year.