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ASIC partners with UK regulator on fintech

ASIC and the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have signed an agreement to work together to grow fintech businesses. 

ASIC said the partnership with the FCA comes after both organisations set up innovation hubs in an effort to help start-ups navigate financial regulation and gain authorisation.

As part of the agreement, ASIC and the FCA will refer to each other when a business is looking to enter either of their markets. They will also share information on emerging market trends and the impact on regulation.

FCA's innovation hub has supported more than 200 businesses and authorised 18, while ASIC has worked with more than 75 start-ups and gave licences to 10.

The fintech industries in the UK and Australia are estimated to have revenues of around $12.5 billion and $1.3 billion a year respectively.

“Innovation in financial services isn't limited by national borders and so it's important that we support overseas businesses that have new ideas that could benefit British consumers,” FCA director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard said.

“We also know that many British firms wish to use the UK as a springboard to launch their businesses or products internationally, making them potentially more sustainable challengers. That is why this agreement – the first of many, we hope – is important.

“With ASIC, we will reduce the barriers for authorised firms looking to grow to scale overseas and to assist non-UK innovators interested in entering the market we oversee.”

ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft echoed the sentiment, adding that encouraging innovation in Australia has the potential to benefit consumers.

“Since ASIC launched its innovation hub last year, we have seen a surge in requests by fintech start-ups seeking assistance about how to navigate the regulatory requirements,” Mr Medcraft said.

“In particular we have dealt with robo or digital advice, crowd-sourced equity funding, payments, marketplace lending and blockchain business models. It is very exciting to observe and clearly some business ideas will want to scale up internationally.”

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