On May 12, 2017, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Hong Kong’s Security and Futures Commission (SFC) announced an agreement to foster the development of FinTech. Under the agreement, the FCA and SFC will provide mutual assistance to firms seeking to innovate within their respective markets. Ashley Alder, SFC’s CEO, said:
“This agreement will help both regulators stay abreast of innovation in financial services while providing innovative Fintech firms seeking to develop and grow their businesses internationally with enhanced channels for communicating with regulators.”
The agreement creates opportunities for FinTech firms by offering perks, such as referral assistance for worthy firms seeking to innovate in both markets. In addition, the FCA and SFC will share information on emerging trends, regulatory issues, and updates on key players leading technological advancements in the financial services sector. Furthermore, under the agreement, the two entities will participate in a joint project in order to introduce “novel financial technologies.” According to Christopher Woolard, FCA’s Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, collaboration is imperative to bolstering FinTech innovation.
“Co-operation agreements are absolutely vital in fostering an environment of Fintech innovation on a global scale. In the last few months alone we’ve signed agreements with colleagues in China, Japan, Canada and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Working with other regulators internationally, we want to build a common understanding of the principles of good innovation and we look forward to working closely with the SFC.”
The announcement comes after a similar agreement between the FCA and Hong Kong Monetary Authority was publicized in December 2016. By creating an alliance between it and two key regulators in Hong Kong - one of the world’s leading financial hubs, the two agreements have placed the FCA in a strategic position that fosters the development of cutting-edge technology in the financial sector.