CFTC and ASIC sign fintech cooperation arrangement

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The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today signed an arrangement to cooperate and support innovation through each other’s financial technology (fintech) initiatives – CFTC’s LabCFTC and ASIC’s Innovation Hub.

‘The signing of this arrangement with ASIC advances our mutual interest in facilitating technological innovation and development to enhance our respective markets,’ said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo.

‘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.  I am pleased to announce the signing of this arrangement on the occasion of the CFTC’s first fintech conference, FinTech Forward 2018: Innovation, Regulation and Education.’

ASIC Chair James Shipton said, ‘We are delighted to partner with our colleagues at the CFTC to help encourage fintech and regtech innovation in both Australia and the United States.  Technological changes are continuing to reshape financial services, markets and the regulatory landscape. Today’s arrangement assists innovative businesses to grow across borders and allows for greater information sharing and cooperation by the two regulators.’

The Cooperation Arrangement on Financial Technology Innovation(FinTech Arrangement) focuses on information-sharing regarding fintech market trends and developments. It also facilitates referrals of fintech companies interested in entering the others’ market, and sharing information and insight derived from each authority’s relevant sandbox, proofs of concept, or innovation competitions.

The FinTech Arrangement follows the launch of the Innovation Hub in March 2015 and LabCFTC in May 2017. Among other activities, these initiatives were set up to help businesses with innovative ideas to navigate the regulatory landscape and engage with the regulator. To date, the Innovation Hub has supported over 300 businesses and authorised over 60 fintech businesses. LabCFTC has engaged with over 200 entities and organizations since its launch last year and published a request for public input on potential innovation competitions.

The FinTech Arrangement supports both authorities’ efforts to facilitate market-enhancing fintech innovation and ensures international cooperation on emerging regulatory best practices.

Background

ASIC’s Innovation Hub

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 assists entrepreneurs to understand how regulation might impact them. The Hub also helps ASIC to monitor and understand fintech developments. ASIC closely collaborates with other regulators to understand developments, and to provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to expand their target markets into other jurisdictions.

More information can be found at www.asic.gov.au/innovation-hub.

CFTC’s LabCFTC

Launched in May 2017, LabCFTC is an initiative aimed at facilitating market-enhancing FinTech innovation, informing policy, and ensuring that we have the regulatory and technological tools and understanding to keep pace with changing markets. It is the agency’s focal point to engage with fintech innovation and promote fair competition by making the CFTC more accessible to fintech innovators. LabCFTC is an information source for Commissioners and staff on market-enhancing innovation that may influence policy development.

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