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Australia signs international fintech agreements

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Reporter 5 minute read

ASIC has entered into a partnership with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and signed an agreement with the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier to further explore fintech innovation.

Building on ASIC’s work in fintech innovation and following agreements with China, Indonesia and Kenya, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has now signed a cooperation agreement with Luxembourg.

The agreement with the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) outlines a framework for cooperation to understand financial innovation in each jurisdiction.

The framework will enable information sharing between the two regulators on financial technology (fintech) and regulatory technology (regtech) and formally builds on the existing relationship between ASIC and the CSSF.

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Speaking of the new agreement, ASIC commissioner John Price said: “We see this agreement as very timely. Both our jurisdictions are leaders in funds management and other financial services.

“ASIC is very interested in learning from the fintech and regtech innovations that are taking place in the Grand Duchy. We look forward to sharing ASIC’s experience with our Innovation Hub and regulatory sandbox initiatives.”

Likewise, Claude Marx, chief executive officer of the CSSF, said: “Fostering our cooperation with ASIC makes sense to us. Australia and Luxembourg are both strongly innovation-oriented jurisdictions, and we do think that such agreement will enhance our ability to adapt ourselves to the upcoming fintech challenges. We look forward to sharing views and experiences with our colleagues from ASIC.”

Co-operation arrangement with the US

As well as the agreement with Luxembourg, ASIC has also signed a fintech co-operation arrangement with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

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The arrangement will see the two entities “co-operate and support innovation through each other’s financial technology initiatives”, namely CFTC’s LabCFTC and ASIC’s Innovation Hub.

It also facilitates referrals of fintech companies interested in entering the partner country’s market, and sharing information and insight derived from each authority’s relevant sandbox, proofs of concept or innovation competitions.

Further, it is expected the arrangement will support both authorities’ efforts to “facilitate market-enhancing fintech innovation and ensures international cooperation on emerging regulatory best practices”.

ASIC chairman James Shipton said that the regulator was “delighted” to partner with the CFTC to help “encourage fintech and regtech innovation in both Australia and the United States”.

He continued: “Technological changes are continuing to reshape financial services, markets and the regulatory landscape. [This] arrangement assists innovative businesses to grow across borders and allows for greater information sharing and cooperation by the two regulators.”

CFTC chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo added: “The signing of this arrangement with ASIC advances our mutual interest in facilitating technological innovation and development to enhance our respective markets.

“This arrangement will encourage the development of emerging financial and compliance technologies and continue to enhance global awareness of the critical role of regulators in 21st century digital markets.”

[Related: ASIC report highlights progress in SME strategy]

Australia signs international fintech agreements
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