Australian financial regulator signs FinTech Cooperation Agreement with Canadian provincial securities regulators

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has entered into a FinTech Cooperation Agreement with Canadian regulators. This agreement expands the existing framework for information sharing and also allows the referral of innovative FinTech businesses to and from Canada.

This Cooperation Agreement has been signed with participating Canadian provincial securities regulators: Autorité des marchés financiers (Québec), the British Columbia Securities Commission, the Alberta Securities Commission, the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan, the Manitoba Securities Commission, the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (New Brunswick) and the Nova Scotia Securities Commission.

ASIC entered in to a Cooperation Agreement with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) on 2 November 2016. This agreement remains in effect.

In Canada, each of the 10 provinces and three territories are responsible for securities regulation. Securities regulators from each province joined forces to form the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonises regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

The CSA is actively looking to foster innovation in Canada’s capital markets and has commenced a number of initiatives. In February 2017, the CSA launched its 'CSA Regulatory Sandbox'. This initiative looks to support fintech businesses seeking to offer innovative products, services and applications in Canada. Similar to ASIC’s Regulatory Sandbox relief, the CSA Regulatory Sandbox allows firms to obtain exemptive relief from securities laws requirements.

The participating jurisdictions in the CSA engage closely with foreign regulators to both share and learn from experiences with initiatives such as the ASIC Innovation Hub and the Regulatory Sandbox.

ASIC Commissioner John Price commented on the new Agreement, “ASIC’s relationship with the OSC has been mutually beneficial. It makes sense to expand our links to other Canadian provincial regulators where we are seeing similar fintech innovation.”

Louis Morisset, Chair of the CSA, SA and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers (Québec) said, “These agreements mark new positive steps for the CSA, which already works with the Sandbox to help innovative businesses seeking to operate across Canada.”

ASIC collaborates closely with other regulators to understand developments, and to help entrepreneurs expand their target markets into other jurisdictions.

To date, ASIC has entered into FinTech referral and information-sharing agreements with the Monetary Authority of Singapore; the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct AuthorityOntario Securities CommissionHong Kong Securities and Futures Commission; the Japan Financial Services AgencyMalaysia Securities CommissionAbu Dhabi Global Market Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Financial Market Supervisory Authority, Switzerland. Recently, ASIC and the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) of New Zealand re-affirmed their commitment to collaboration and cooperation on the expanding opportunities in FinTech and innovation.

In addition, information-sharing agreements have been entered with the Capital Markets Authority, Kenya, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (Financial Services Authority of Indonesia), Indonesia and the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

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