The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has signed a cooperation agreement with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) to foster Fintech innovation, expand the network of information sharing and support Fintech startups. ASIC previously signed a bilateral cooperation agreement with the Ontario Securities Commission which remains in effect.
CSA is an association that represents the provincial securities regulators including; the Autorité des marchés financiers (Québec), the British Columbia Securities Commission, the Alberta Securities Commission, the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan, the Manitoba Securities Commission, the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (New Brunswick) and the Nova Scotia Securities Commission.
In Canada, each of the 10 provinces and three territories are responsible for securities regulation. Securities regulators from each province joined forces to form the CSA. The CSA strives to harmonize regulation for the Canadian capital markets. CSA reports it is actively looking to foster innovation in Canada’s capital markets and has commenced a number of initiatives. The participating jurisdictions in the CSA engage closely with foreign regulators to both share and learn from experiences with initiatives such as the ASIC Innovation Hub and the Fintech Regulatory Sandbox.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said that ASIC’s relationship with the OSC has been mutually beneficial.
“It makes sense to expand our links to other Canadian provincial regulators where we are seeing similar fintech innovation.”
Louis Morisset, Chair of the CSA, SA and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers in Québec added;
“These agreements mark new positive steps for the CSA, which already works with the Sandbox to help innovative businesses seeking to operate across Canada.”
In February 2017, the CSA launched its ‘CSA Regulatory Sandbox’ to support Fintech innovation. The Canadian Sandbox is similar to ASIC’s Regulatory Sandbox relief.
Australia has targeted Fintech innovation as strategically important to the future of its domestic economy. Leveraging its proximity to Asia and ties to leading financial markets, ASIC has sought to re-fashion financial services and capital markets.
ASIC has launched an Innovation Hub that provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs to understand how regulation might impact on them. The arrangement is mutually beneficial as regulators are exposed to agile Fintech startups.
To date, ASIC has signed Fintech agreements with: the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, Ontario Securities Commission, Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Japan Financial Services Agency, Malaysia Securities Commission, Abu Dhabi Global Market Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority, Switzerland, the Dubai Financial Services Authority and members of the Canadian Securities Administrators. ASIC has also agreed to incorporate fintech in to its wide-ranging MoU with the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority.
In addition, information-sharing agreements have been entered with the Capital Markets Authority, Kenya, Otoritas Jasa Keuangan, Indonesia and the China Securities Regulatory Commission.