ASIC has today announced a Cooperation Agreement with Canadian regulators on fintech cooperation. 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 is 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.
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 harmonizes 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. 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 entered in to a Cooperation Agreement with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) on 2 November 2016. This agreement remains in effect.
On signing this new Agreement, ASIC Commissioner John Price said, ‘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.'
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.
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, Abu Dhabi Global Market Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority, Switzerland, the Dubai Financial Services Authority and members of the Canadian Securities Administrators. ASIC has also agreed to incorporate fintech in to its wide-ranging MoU with the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority.
In addition, information-sharing agreements have been entered with the Capital Markets Authority, Kenya, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan, Indonesia and the China Securities Regulatory Commission.