The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has signed a cooperation agreement with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to drive collaboration in support of financial technology innovation.
The deal will make it easier for fintech companies to access one another’s markets. The FCA and SFC will cooperate on a number of initiatives, including referrals of innovative companies, information exchange and experience sharing, joint innovation projects so that companies that have been approved in the UK can more easily open business in Hong Kong and vice versa. Besides, the agreement will allow regulators to exchange information about financial services innovations and eliminate barriers to entry to foster innovation in the countries.
“This agreement will help both regulators stay abreast of innovation in financial services while providing innovative Fintech firms seeking to develop and grow their businesses internationally with enhanced channels for communicating with regulators,” said Mr Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Cooperation agreements are absolutely vital in fostering an environment of Fintech innovation on a global scale,” said Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA. “We want to build a common understanding of the principles of good innovation and we look forward to working closely with the SFC.”
In December, the FCA signed a similar agreement with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Besides, it has a similar agreement with regulators in Canada and the Financial Services Agency of Japan.
Britain remains the world’s leading fintech hub attracting entrepreneurs from around the world. Providing good regulatory environment, the country is the best place to grow innovative businesses.
A few days ago, Barclays announced the opening of its new fintech innovation center in London, which will be the largest co-working space for fintech startups in Europe. The hub is part of the bank’s Rise initiative aimed at fostering innovation in the fintech industry.
The site will connect leaders in the venture capital and fintech sectors and will provide space for more than 40 fintech companies, including Barclays’ technology and banking teams. The bank has already opened Rise innovation hubs in New York, Cape Town, Manchester, Mumbai, Tel Aviv, and Vilnius.
In March, the London-based exchange-traded fund provider, Source, launched the first-ever fund in Europe focused on fintech companies.
Meantime, the UK’s central bank is exploring blockchain and has recently unveiled that it will make the bank’s real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system compatible with the technology. The governor of the bank admits that blockchain has great potential to improve the financial services, speeding up payments, clearing and settlement processes.