Trans-Tasman regulators strengthen bilateral commitment to fintech


Australia’s chief corporate regulator ASIC has reaffirmed an agreement with its New Zealand counterpart, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), to nurture fintech and innovation across the Tasman.

The commitment bolsters an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the regulators in 2012.

The regulators confirmed their desire to nurture innovation across an emerging fintech industry whilst upholding their core remit to protect consumers and manage risk.

As part of the agreement, the regulators have committed to provide referrals for advice and support to fintech businesses hoping to make ventures into each other’s markets.

ASIC Commissioner, John Price said he was “pleased to further develop our relationship with the FMA and demonstrate our collaborative approach in this space.”

“Across the Tasman we’ll continue to cooperate with the FMA and refer new businesses where they have an appetite to work in both jurisdictions,” Price said.

Both the FMA and ASIC have pursued numerous innovation projects within their respective markets, providing valuable lessons and facilitating continued information exchange between the regulators.

Early last year, the FMA established an Innovation Strategy Group (ISG) to monitor emerging trends in fintech and innovation. The ISG also ensures a consistent, coordinated FMA approach to engaging with market participants and across government.

Earlier this week the FMA announced its decision to allow personalised robo-advice services in New Zealand. Providers will need to apply to use an FMA exemption from early 2018.

ASIC has entered into fintech referral and information-sharing agreements with seven national or provincial regulators, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Japan Financial Services Agency, Malaysia Securities Commission, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, Ontario Securities Commission, and Abu Dhabi Global Market Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

Additionally, ASIC has confirmed information-sharing agreements with Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority and Indonesia’s Otoritas Jasa Keuangan.