MR No. 2017 – 45
19 October 2017
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) have reaffirmed their commitment to collaboration and cooperation on the expanding opportunities in fintech and innovation.
The FMA and ASIC entered a wide-ranging Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2012.
Today in Sydney, senior executives from both regulators discussed the opportunities and challenges of balancing the desire to foster innovation and growth in the emerging fintech industry, while protecting consumers and managing risks. Regulators will assist innovative businesses hoping to make ventures into each other’s markets by providing referrals for advice and support.
Garth Stanish, FMA Director of Capital Markets, said, “ASIC and the FMA have a strong relationship in all the areas we regulate. Our mutual commitment to innovation and fintech is no different. We’ll continue to share information and views on the regulatory issues arising from emerging technology and increasing innovation.”
John Price, ASIC Commissioner, said, “We’re pleased to further develop our relationship with the FMA and demonstrate our collaborative approach in this space. Across the Tasman we’ll continue to cooperate with the FMA and refer new businesses where they have an appetite to work in both jurisdictions.”
The FMA wants to facilitate responsible innovation, and ensure that the regulatory regime remains relevant and agile. This is supported by the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, as one of its purposes is ‘to promote innovation and flexibility in financial markets’.
The FMA established an Innovation Strategy Group (ISG) in early 2017 to monitor emerging trends in fintech and innovation. The ISG also ensures a consistent, coordinated FMA approach to engaging with market participants and across government.
This week the FMA announced its decision to allow personalised robo-advice services in New Zealand. Providers will need to apply to use an FMA exemption from early 2018. Its Annual Corporate Plan also sets out its areas of focus and key activities under the theme of regulating for rapid technological innovation.
ASIC is focused on the vital role that fintechs are playing in re-fashioning financial services and capital markets. In addition to developing guidance about how these new developments fit into our regulatory framework, in 2015, ASIC launched its Innovation Hub to help fintechs navigate the regulatory framework without compromising investor and financial consumer trust and confidence.
The Innovation Hub provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs to understand how regulation might impact on them. It is also helping ASIC to monitor and understand fintech developments. ASIC collaborates closely with other regulators to understand developments, and to help entrepreneurs expand their target markets into other jurisdictions.
To date, fintech referral and information-sharing agreements have been entered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, Ontario Securities Commission, Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Japan Financial Services Agency, Malaysia Securities Commission and Abu Dhabi Global Market Financial Services Regulatory Authority. In addition, information-sharing agreements have been entered with the Capital Markets Authority, Kenya and Otoritas Jasa Keuangan, Indonesia.
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