The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) have signed an agreement to support innovative financial technology companies in the two markets.
Under the agreement, the two regulators will refer to one another the fintech businesses looking to enter the others’ market, as well as exchange information on emerging trends and their impact on regulation.
The pact will also allow the watchdogs to offer support to innovative businesses before, during and after authorisation. Businesses will need to meet the eligibility criteria of their home regulator to receive the support.
After being referred by the regulator, the business will receive dedicated staff who will help them gain insight into the regulatory framework of the market the business wishes to join.
The latest deal comes shortly after OSC’s launched a fintech innovation hub and regulatory sandbox, known as OSC LaunchPad.
OSC chair and CEO Maureen Jensen said: “Today’s agreement – another first for a Canadian securities regulator – reflects our commitment to improving the regulatory experience for emerging businesses that are offering innovative services, products and applications of benefit to investors.”
In March 2016, ASIC signed a fintech agreement with the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and in June 2016, signed a similar co-operation pact with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
In June 2016, ASIC also issued a consultation paper that proposes a regulatory sandbox licensing exemption to facilitate fintech innovation.
Last month, the Australian regulator signed a fintech co-operation agreement with the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA).
ASIC Commissioner John Price said: “Since we launched our Innovation Hub last year we have seen a surge in requests by fintech startups seeking assistance about how to navigate the regulatory requirements.
“These have covered a wide range of issues, as you would expect of such a young and exciting sector, but include robo or digital advice, crowd-sourced equity funding, payments, marketplace lending and blockchain business models. Some of these business concepts are already looking to expand internationally, and these agreements with like-minded regulators will be a significant factor in paving the way.”