The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) have announced a framework for co-operation to promote Fintech innovation in Japan and Australia. A formal “Exchange of Letters” ceremony between Australian Ambassador to Japan, the Hon Richard Court AC and State Minister of Cabinet Office, Takao Ochi, took place in Tokyo today to seal the framework deal.
The co-operation framework enables the JFSA and ASIC to share information and support the entry of innovative Fintech businesses into each other’s markets. This Framework will also help open up an important market for Australian Fintechs. ASIC notes that the Japanese economy is the third largest in the world, with services – including financial services – accounting for about three quarters of GDP.
The JFSA has recently been more active in encouraging Fintech through a range of measures including the modification of the legal system to enable financial groups to invest in finance-related IT companies more easily and establishing a legal framework for virtual currency and Open API.
ASIC Commissioner John Price commented on the Framework;
“Japan has been a world leader in technology for a long time. As we move into a new era of financial regulation, we look forward to sharing experiences and insights with our colleagues at the JFSA.”
Shunsuke Shirakawa, JFSA Vice Commissioner for International Affairs, said, they were delighted with the co-operation agreement;
“ASIC is one of the leading Fintech regulators that actively promote fintech by taking progressive actions including setup of the Innovation Hub. We believe that this Framework further strengthens our relationship and facilitates our co-operation in further developing our respective markets.”
The JFSA and ASIC will now refer Fintech businesses to each other for advice and support via ASIC’s Innovation Hub and the JFSA’s FinTech Support Desk.
The framework also provides for information sharing between the two regulators. This is said to enable the JFSA and ASIC to keep abreast of regulatory and relevant economic or commercial developments in each other’s jurisdictions, and help to inform domestic regulatory approaches in the context of a rapidly changing global financial environment.
So far, ASIC has created Fintech referral and information-sharing agreements with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, Ontario Securities Commission and Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission. In addition, information-sharing agreements have been signed with the Capital Markets Authority, Kenya and Otoritas Jasa Keuangan, Indonesia. ASIC has also met with numerous international Fintech businesses referred to them by industry or trade bodies, including delegations from the United Kingdom and the United States.