The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) signed an agreement today for FinTech cooperation. The agreement provides a framework for cooperation to support and understand financial innovation in each economy.
Under the agreement, SFC and ASIC will be able to refer innovative FinTech businesses to each other for advice and support via ASIC's Innovation Hub and its Hong Kong equivalent, the SFC's Fintech Contact Point. Both provide a platform for engagement between the regulator and FinTech companies, helping startups navigate the regulatory ecosystem. So, through this agreement Australian FinTech businesses who want to operate in Hong Kong will have a simple pathway for engaging with the SFC, and vice versa.
The agreement will facilitate information sharing between the two regulators. ASIC will be able to keep abreast of relevant regulatory and economic or commercial developments in Hong Kong and to use this to inform Australia's regulatory approach.
This is the fourth FinTech referral agreement ASIC has entered into. Previously, during 2016, ASIC signed similar agreements with the Financial Conduct Authority from the United Kingdom, Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ontario Securities Commission. In addition, ASIC has entered into information-sharing agreements with the Capital Markets Authority, Kenya and Otoritas Jasa Keuangan, Indonesia.
This Cooperation Agreement builds on existing close ties between ASIC and SFC, as well as the broader Australia-Hong Kong trade and investment relationship. Hong Kong is Australia's seventh most important destination for services exports, valued at AUD$2.4 billion last year, and sixth largest source of services imports, valued at AUD$3 billion.
Signing the Agreement, ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said, ‘Financial services are a major contributor to Hong Kong's US$316 billion economy. The Cooperation Agreement is a significant boost for Australia's burgeoning fintech sector and will ease entry into this important market for innovative Australian businesses.'
Read the press release here.