ASIC partners with Asian regulator on fintech expansion

ASIC has signed an agreement with an Asian regulator that will see the two countries work together on helping fintech businesses venture into each other's markets.

In an announcement, ASIC said it has partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to help innovative companies looking to expand receive advice on the required licences, which will help reduce regulatory uncertainty and time to market.

The regulators will also conduct joint innovation projects as well as share information on emerging market trends.

"Singapore has a vibrant fintech ecosystem, reinforced by sound infrastructure and a growing talent pool, to support companies intending to use Singapore to other markets in Asia," MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said.

"MAS is also looking forward to partner with ASIC in joint innovation projects on the applications of key technologies such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and distributed ledgers, big data, and application programming interfaces (APIs)," he said.

To qualify for the support offered under the agreement, businesses will need to meet their home regulator's eligibility criteria.

"Once referred by the regulator, and ahead of applying for a licence to operate in the new market, a dedicated team or contact person will help them to understand the regulatory framework in the market they wish to join, and how it applies to them," the statement said.

ifa reported in March that ASIC had signed a similar agreement with the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.

"We recognised that innovation in financial services isn't confined by national borders," ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft said. 

"Since ASIC launched its Innovation Hub last year, we have seen a surge in requests by fintech start-ups seeking assistance about how to navigate the regulatory requirements. In particular, we have dealt with robo or digital advice, crowdsourced equity funding, payments, marketplace lending and blockchain business models.

"It is very exciting to observe, and clearly some business ideas will want to scale up internationally. We believe this agreement with the MAS will help break down barriers to entry both here and in Singapore."

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