On 13 June 2017, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) entered into a FinTech co-operation agreement with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). Soon after, on 23 and 27 June 2017, ASIC also entered into similar arrangements with the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) and the Malaysia Securities Commission (MSC). These arrangements provides a framework for ASIC to work more closely with these regulators.

As a result of these agreements, ASIC, SFC, JFSA and MSC can refer FinTech businesses to each other for advice and support via ASIC’s Innovation Hub, SFC’s FinTech Contact Point, JFSA’s FinTech Support Desk and MSC’s alliance of FINtech community (aFINity). This means Australian FinTech businesses wishing to operate in Hong Kong, Japan or Malaysia will now have a simple pathway for engaging with those countries’ regulators, and vice versa. This can provide valuable assistance for FinTech businesses operating in one jurisdiction which want to better understand the rules in the other.

ASIC will also increasingly share information with SFC, JFSA and MSC, and vice versa, allowing each regulator to keep abreast of regulatory and relevant economic or commercial developments in each other’s jurisdictions and help to inform domestic regulatory approaches.

These agreements are likely to play an important role in supporting each jurisdiction’s FinTech businesses, given the trade ties between the countries, and that all 4 countries have been actively involved in encouraging FinTech.

To date, FinTech referral and information-sharing agreements have also been entered into by ASIC with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Ontario Securities Commission. In addition, information-sharing agreements have been entered with the Kenyan Capital Markets Authority and Indonesia’s Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (Financial Services Authority).