Australia and the UK have strengthened their joint support of the FinTech industry by entering into two new arrangements which build on the original FinTech cooperation agreement entered into by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in March 2016.

The Australian and UK Governments have entered into the UK-Australia FinTech Bridge which establishes a framework for individual arrangements involving governments, regulators, trade and investment, and business. A number of understandings were agreed to including:

  • investigating options for developing complementarity between the UK and Australian open banking regimes;
  • continuing to develop a set of international standards for blockchain applications; and
  • exploring opportunities to enable quicker processing of licences for firms already licensed in the other jurisdiction.

ASIC and the FCA have also signed an enhanced cooperation agreement. Under the new agreement the regulators propose to:

  • explore opportunities to enable quicker processing in terms of authorisation of innovative businesses that are already authorised in the other jurisdiction;
  • refer FinTech businesses to the other regulator for participation in the other regulator’s regulatory sandbox or facilitate the participation of existing sandbox participants in the other regulatory sandbox;
  • share further information on regtech developments;
  • reach shared approaches, understandings and positions on key complex and emerging issues arising from financial and regulatory technology developments as well as pursue and advocate for their global adoption; and
  • consider staff secondments or training with the other regulator.