Canadian and UK regulators agree co-op deal

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) have a signed a co-operation agreement in a bid to enhance the development of fintech and other financial services businesses across both countries.

Under the new Co-Operation Agreement, innovative fintech businesses in Ontario and the United Kingdom will be able to seek support from their financial regulators as they seek to operate in the other’s market. The FCA and OSC, said in a joint statement, that they have also committed to share information on emerging trends and regulatory issues pertaining to “innovation in financial services”.

Signed this week, the agreement allows the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to refer to one another innovative businesses seeking to enter the other’s market. The regulators may provide support to innovative businesses to help reduce regulatory uncertainty and time to market.

The agreement follows the creation of the FCA’s Innovation Hub in 2014 and OSC LaunchPad by the OSC in October 2016. These initiatives are designed to help businesses with innovative ideas navigate the regulatory framework, support them through authorisation and facilitate their engagement with their respective regulator, the statement said.

‘Ready access’

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said that the agreement with the OSC is a “positive step” towards promoting financial innovation in each of our respective markets.

“It provides FinTech businesses in Ontario and the UK with ready access to the regulatory support they need and we look forward to welcoming firms referred to us by the OSC to assist them in understanding the UK market and its financial regulation.”

Maureen Jensen, chair and chief executive of the OSC, said: “Since unveiling OSC LaunchPad last year, we are hearing from many emerging businesses that offer innovative services, products and applications of benefit to investors.

“Many of these businesses are also seeking to expand globally, and this agreement reflects our ongoing commitment to enhancing their regulatory experience.”

Once referred by the regulator, and ahead of applying for authorisation to operate in the new market, the business will have access to dedicated staff that will help them to understand the regulatory framework in the market they wish to join, and how it applies to them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Deputy Editor, International Investment and Head of Video at Open Door Media Publishing. A fully qualified journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as an IFA.

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