On 7 December 2016, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) entered into a co-operation agreement as part of an initiative to promote innovation in their respective markets and to reduce barriers to entry for firms both in the UK and Hong Kong. This is the fifth such co-operation agreement that the FCA has entered into (with previous agreements being concluded with regulators in Australia, China, Singapore and South Korea) and the first such co-operation agreement that the HKMA has entered into, representing a key initiative for the HKMA.

It is intended that the agreement will help reduce the barriers to international growth by providing a framework for co-operation and referrals between the FCA and the HKMA's respective "innovation functions". The co-operation agreement also sets out the regulators' intentions to support innovation in both jurisdictions through the sharing of information and expertise.

In our e-bulletin of 19 January 2017, we outline the key features of the co-operation agreement, it's impact, as well as other innovation initiatives by the FCA and the HKMA.