News

Government’s enhanced regulatory sandbox to commence 1 September 2020

1 July 2020

On the 28 May 2020, the regulations that established the Government’s Enhanced Regulatory Sandbox (ERS) were made.

The ERS will commence on 1 September 2020. It establishes a class waiver for fintech firms to test (for a period up to 24 months) the viability of certain kinds of new services and related products without first holding an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) or an Australian Credit Licence (ACL) which can be costly and time-consuming to obtain.

For further details, refer to the following:

ASIC’s next steps

ASIC is developing information about the ERS and how ASIC will administer the ERS. We aim to  publish this information as early as we can before the commencement of the new framework and we will continue to assist fintech businesses to understand and navigate the ERS’s regulatory requirements.

ASIC also intends to continue to engage with the fintech sector and relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the ERS. For example, ASIC plans to hold a webinar to explain and discuss the new framework prior to its commencement.

Please contact the Innovation Hub if you have any queries about the ERS.

 

ASIC’s response to COVID-19

4 May 2020

On Tuesday 14 April 2020, ASIC released details regarding its regulatory work and priorities in light of COVID-19. ASIC has issued subsequent sector specific communications on ASIC’s approach since mid-April.

In response to COVID-19 ASIC:

  • has      stepped up its markets supervision work to support the fair and orderly      operation of markets, ensure investors are appropriately informed, and      protect against manipulation and abuse;
  • will      heighten its support for consumers who may be vulnerable to scams and      sharp practices, receive poor advice, or need assistance in finding      information and support should they fall into hardship; and
  • will      identify other actions needed to support firms such as facilitating the      timely completion of capital raisings and other urgent transactions,      providing regulatory relief, where appropriate, and identifying measures      to support small business.

You can find more information at the following pages:

Innovation Hub

ASIC’s Innovation Hub continues to offer informal assistance and guidance to start-ups and scale-ups. Since February, our team has received a strong flow of inquiries including about receiving informal assistance from ASIC and the nature of the Government’s Enhanced Regulatory Sandbox.

To contact our team, please visit our Apply for Assistance page.

Government’s Enhanced Regulatory Sandbox

On 10 February 2020 the Government’s Enhanced Regulatory Sandbox (Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 2) Bill 2019) was enacted by Parliament.

ASIC understands that the Government intends to make the Regulations to establish the Enhanced Regulatory Sandbox (ERS) framework in the coming months with a view that the regime commences three months after the commencement of the regulations.

In the meantime, ASIC is developing its approach to administering the ERS including the provision of guidance to businesses about how the ERS operates and what is expected of firms that intend to make use of the ERS.

ASIC has recently received some early interest and enquiries in relation to the ERS.

Regtech Initiative Series 2019-20

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASIC is currently reviewing how it will co-ordinate its 2019-20 series of regtech initiatives. Our commitment to regtech remains strong, and with the success of our 2018-19 series we are seeking to find safe alternatives that will satisfy the scale last year’s problem-solving projects garnered.

For the latest information on ASIC’s Regtech Initiative Series, please visit our website. We will continue to update this content as our schedule develops.

Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology

On 27 March 2020 the Senate Select Committee on Fintech and Regtech re-opened submissions requesting input around short-, medium-, and long-term support that can be delivered swiftly by government and the private sector.

ASIC provided submissions to both rounds of the inquiry that can be read here.

 

ASIC Submissions to the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology

17 April 2020

The Senate Select Committee on Fintech and Regtech recently opened a second round of submissions requesting input on critical needs from industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASIC has provided submissions across both rounds of inquiry from the Select Committee. Follow the links below to read our statements.

ASIC's first submission - 20 December 2019

ASIC's second submission - 17 April 2020

GFiN – one year on: A reflection of the GFiN’s achievements and challenges since inception, and ambitions for the future

25 June 2019

Today ASIC is pleased to announce the publication of the Global Financial Innovation Network’s (“GFIN”) “One Year On” report.

The GFiN is a network of international regulators and related organisations committed to supporting financial innovation and to creating a framework for co-operation between regulators to share experiences and approaches to innovation.

The GFiN has rapidly grown over the past year from its 12 founding members, to be a global dialogue with 35 Member Regulators and 7 Observers from 21 jurisdictions. And it continues to grow.

The “GFiN – one year on report” sets out what the GFiN has been doing over the past year, the challenges it has faced, achievements, and its ambitions for the future. It is also to show that it is listening to stakeholders, and welcomes feedback in order to ensure that the GFiN continues to add value.

Click here for a copy of the report

GFiN members look forward to the next year of engagement and to improving ways of working together for the benefit of innovative firms and other stakeholders.

Key facts:

  • 35 members and 7 observers from 21 jurisdictions.
  • 99 responses from 26 jurisdictions received in response to the initial GFiN consultation.
  • 44 applications from 17 jurisdictions for the inaugural GFiN cross-border test pilot with 8 firms being selected to develop testing plans.
  • Nearly 60 representatives attended the first biannual meeting of the GFiN held in London in May.

Full list of GFIN Membership

Coordination Group

Organisation

Jurisdiction

Australian Securities & Investments   Commission (ASIC)

Australia

Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB)

Bahrain

Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF)

Québec, Canada

Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC)

Guernsey

Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC)

Hong Kong

Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA)

Kazakhstan

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Singapore

Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)

United Arab Emirates

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

United Kingdom

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

United States

Members 

Organisation

Jurisdiction

Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA)

Bermuda

Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil   (CVM)

Brazil

Alberta Securities Commission (ASC)

Alberta, Canada

British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC)

British Columbia, Canada

Ontario Securities Commission (OSC)

Ontario, Canada

Centrale Bank van Curaçao and Sint Maarten

Curaçao and Sint Maarten

Central Bank of Eswatini

Eswatini (Swaziland)

Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary)

Hungary

Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (IOMFSA)

Isle of Man

Israel Securities Authority (ISA)

Israel

Capital Market, Insurance, and Savings Authority   (CMISA)

Israel

Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC)

Jersey

Capital Markets Authority (CMA, Kenya)

Kenya

Bank of Lithuania (BL)

Lithuania

South African Reserve Bank (SARB)

South Africa

Financial Supervisory Commission Taiwan

Taiwan

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

United Arab Emirates

Observers 

Organisation

Jurisdiction

Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa)

Africa

Qianhai Financial Authority

China

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development   (EBRD)

Europe

Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)

Global

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Global

World Bank Group

Global

Qatar Development Bank

Qatar

For more information about ASIC's participation and role in the Global Financial Innovation Network, click here.


Next steps: GFIN Cross-border testing pilot

29 April 2019

Today we announce the next steps as part of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN or Network) cross-border testing pilot.

In total, 44 unique applications were submitted across the 17 participating regulators. Every regulator participating in the pilot was the subject of at least one application.  Each regulator has considered whether a proposed test meets its individual screening criteria, areas of interest, and they have considered their ability to support the activity.

After this initial screening, GFIN members will continue working with 8 firms. The next phase is for the firms to develop testing plans with the relevant regulators for their cross-border trial, some of which will involve live transactions. Firms that develop a testing plan satisfactory to each jurisdiction’s criteria will take part in the pilot testing phase.

Today’s announcement is not a render of indicative regulatory approvals or a guarantee that each firm will undertake a test. Rather, it is conditional on further work being undertaken and tests being agreed by the regulators involved. An announcement of the firms formally selected for the cross-border testing pilot will be made in late Q2.

A high number of applications were from firms with RegTech and crypto asset related business models. While we hope to receive further applications related to these areas in the future, it is also our hope and ambition to receive applications from other areas of financial services.

Of those applications that did not meet the eligibility criteria for testing, GFIN members will engage in further discussions on other types of potential support where relevant. Also, several applications have been determined by some regulators to not need sandbox in their jurisdictions to proceed to testing.

GFIN is keen to explore how these pilot tests will function and welcomes feedback from applicants to help inform and enhance its approach.

Regulators are only responsible for those applications relevant to them, as highlighted in the table below. The following tests are under consideration for the cross-border trials:

Firm

Proposed test

Current regulators involved

Alphapoint

Software company offering products built on   public and private blockchains that support the requirements for issuance,   custody and trading of digital assets with liquidity across multiple   exchanges.

Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), Bank of   Lithuania (LB)

Ascent RegTech

AI-driven RegTech solution that automatically   maps a customer’s specific regulatory obligations and ongoing rule changes,   while also enabling end-to-end compliance management. The product helps firms   see similarities and differences in regulatory obligations across regulators   and countries.

Australian Securities & Investments   Commission (ASIC), Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF Québec), Dubai   Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Hong   Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Ontario Securities Commission (OSC)

ATLANT

Digital securities platform offering primary issuance of digital   shares & debentures, secondary trading and optimized post-trade, with   automatic clearing, settlement and custody.

Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), Monetary   Authority of Singapore (MAS), Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), LB

Coinvestion

Platform that uses blockchain to allow users to invest in real   estate shares as securities and develops fractional ownership schemes’.

British Columbia Securities Commission   (BCSC), BMA, JFSC, LB, MAS

DACX

Platform that uses DLT and machine learning to   facilitate cross-border transactions of multi-currency payments, assets and   commodities via tokenisation, smart contracts and escrows.’

Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA),   plus others to be confirmed

Onfido

A technology provider that has developed a proposition to allow   consumers to securely control their verified identity Digital ID and   share/transfer that verified identity across financial services organisations   for the purposes of KYC checks.

HKMA, FCA, LB, OSC

Starling Trust

Applied behavioural sciences technology company that has developed a   Predictive Behavioural Analytics platform using machine learning and   electronic communications data to allow users to measure, manage and mitigate   culture and conduct risks. They will be partnering with a select group of   global banks, with an initial focus on the three lines of defense risk   framework.

ASIC, DFSA, FCA, HKMA

Tradle

A blockchain-based KYC and onboarding platform   that uses AI, IoT and cloud to help financial institutions meet regulatory   obligations for SMEs, Corporates, Capital markets, Wealth Management, Retail   and Unbanked customers and helps regulators provide guidance and supervision   for their markets. They will work with GFIN on self-executing cross-border   KYC policies.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and FCA

GFIN members are exploring ways of supporting cross-border tests either through their own regulatory sandbox, or by additional means.

For more information about the launch and purpose of the Global Financial Innovation Network's cross-border testing pilot, see 19-017MR (Cross-border testing pilot for innovative firms open to applications). To reach more about GFIN and it's wider purpose, click here.


ASIC Regtech Tender: Voice Analytics & Voice-to-Text Research/Analysis

April 18 2019

This is to advise, ASIC has posted an Approach to the Market on Austender for ASIC’s regtech initiative to research/analyse Voice Analytics and Voice to Text technology from information technology service providers.  The requirement is to research the capabilities, benefits and costs of applying voice analytics and voice-to-text technologies (VA&VT) to regulatory activities, and to inform the financial services industry how these technologies may be adopted to aid compliance with regulatory requirements. ASIC wishes to raise awareness of the capability of VA&VT to its regulated population to consider whether it can be used in conjunction with human resources to strengthen oversight and to improve consumer outcomes.

For any further information, please see the Austender link or contact tenders@asic.gov.auPlease note, due to probity, only ASIC procurement staff are able to respond to any queries regarding the tender.


Regtech Tender: Technology Assisted Guidance Tool

22 March 2019

ASIC has posted an approach to the market on Austender for ASIC’s regtech initiative to facilitate improved access and understanding of ASIC guidance. The requirement is to design, develop and implement a Technology Assisted Guidance (TAG) Tool to help businesses navigate the credit and financial services licensing regulatory framework. ASIC is looking to procure a technology firm and/or a law firm to design a prototype tool to provide user-friendly licensing guidance. This may involve a chatbot, a Q&A wizard and/or other machine learning applications.

For any further information, please see Austender or contact tenders@asic.gov.au. Please note, due to probity, only ASIC procurement staff are able to respond to any queries regarding the tender.


Cross-border testing pilot for innovative firms open to applications

1 February 2019

ASIC today announces the launch of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). As part of its launch, GFIN is inviting applications from firms to be part of a pilot to test innovative financial products, services or business models across more than one jurisdiction. 

Read the media release


For older news, visit the Innovation Hub news archive.

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News

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GFIN invites firms to participate in cross-border testing

30 October 2020

The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) is inviting applications from firms to test innovative financial products, services, business models or regulatory technology across more than one country or jurisdiction.

Find out more

ASIC issues guidance for Government’s enhanced regulatory sandbox

25 August 2020

ASIC has released guidance to assist innovative financial businesses test their products and services under the Government’s enhanced regulatory sandbox (ERS), scheduled to commence on 1 September 2020.

Find out more


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Events

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Financial Innovation: Regulator meet-up

27 November 2020

ASIC's regulator meet-ups bring together representatives from national bodies to outline their latest initiatives and news with financial innovation and technology. More information.

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11th ASIC regtech liaison forum

4 December 2020

The forum provides a regular chance for industry representatives and regulators to discuss the developments and opportunities within the regulatory technology (regtech) space. More information.

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Last updated: 17/08/2020 10:43