United States and Australia Sign Fintech Cooperation Agreement

Jan 24, 2019Congressional Legislation, News

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and its Australian counterpart, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), have signed a cooperation agreement on fintech innovation.

The CFTC promotes market integrity through the regulation of commodity futures and open markets as an independent agency of the U.S. government. The ASIC oversees the financial services industry in Australia, which encompasses most fintech businesses. This cooperation could result in increased communication and engagement on fintech regulatory matters between American and Australian regulators.

The cooperation agreement — titled the “Cooperation Arrangement on Financial Technology Innovation” — facilitates information sharing and collaboration between regulators about new and upcoming trends in regulatory technology. This will encourage market-enhancing fintech innovation in both countries.

“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.”

Regulators can now refer to each other’s fintech businesses requesting information about operating in their jurisdictions. The agreement does not detail the types of support the regulators will offer to referred businesses, but specific supports regulators offer to fintech businesses in their home countries include:

  • Point of contact identification to assist startups transitioning into a new market;
  • Preauthorization application assistance for licenses and registrations;
  • Guidance during the authorization phase through staff allocation; and
  • Regulatory compliance assistance.

In both countries, the cooperation agreement backs authorities’ efforts to facilitate fintech innovation and international cooperation on emerging regulatory best practices.

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