The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has entered into a co-operation agreement with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong to allow financial firms easier access to regulation in support of financial technology innovation.
Under the agreement, the FCA and SFC, said in a joint statement, released earlier today, that both will co-operate on information sharing and referrals of innovative firms seeking to enter one another’s markets.
Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “Co-operation agreements are absolutely vital in fostering an environment of fintech innovation on a global scale. 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 agreement follows on from the creation of the FCA’s Innovation Hub in 2014 and the SFC’s Fintech Contact Point in 2016.
As reported, in the last few months alone the UK regulator has signed agreements with regulatory counterparts in China, Japan, Canada and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
Having signed a similar agreement with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in December 2016, today’s announcement means that the FCA now has agreements with a number of key regulators in Hong Kong, which, it says “will be important given the breadth and speed in development of the fintech sector”.
“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,” added Ashley Alder, the SFC’s chief executive.