From the Regulators

Australia’s regulatory sandbox to remain unchanged

By James Langton |

 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is extending its existing financial technology (fintech) co-operation agreement with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to a handful of other Canadian regulators, the Australian regulator announced on Tuesday.

The agreement governs information sharing and facilitates referrals of innovative fintech businesses to and from Canada. In addition to the OSC, participating regulators include:  Autorité des marchés financiers, 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.

"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," says John Price, ASIC commissioner, in a statement.

Separately, the ASIC published a report on its regulatory sandbox — a mechanism that numerous regulators, including the Canadian Securities Administrators, have adopted to help facilitate industry innovation. According to the report, the ASIC will continue allowing registration exemptions for fintechs to test new services with up to 100 retail clients over 12 months. The ASIC sandbox has been in operation for about a year.

Gour fintechs have used the exemption so far, the report says, and more than a dozen are seeking the exemption.

"By introducing ASIC's fintech licensing exemption, we have given a range of fintech businesses the chance to test their ideas without needing a licence. Even in cases where interested fintechs have discovered that they were not able to make use of the fintech licensing exemption, we have found that its introduction has encouraged businesses to come forward and consider their other options that result from the flexibility in ASIC's existing regime," says Price.

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