Archive: November 7, 2016

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Possible AML implications for FinTechs
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Regulators in Australia and Ontario sign co-operation agreement

Possible AML implications for FinTechs

By Jim Bulling and Michelle Chasser

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is encouraging FinTech businesses to make contact about Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime (AML/CTF regime) and how it may affect their business. A dedicated online contact form has been established which allows enquiries to be made directly to the Policy and Guidance team.

Businesses which provide a ‘designated service’ are reporting entities which have obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006. There are a number of designated services that a FinTech business may provide including making loans, issuing a stored value card, giving effect to remittance arrangements, issuing interests in a managed investment scheme and (in the capacity of an Australian financial services licensee) arranging for a person to receive a designated service.

Currently activities relating to digital currencies such as BitCoin are not designated services. However, in October 2016 the Attorney General’s Department released its draft project plan for the implementation of the recommendations from the statutory review of the AML/CTF regime. Under the project plan, legislative proposals to regulate digital currencies under the AML/CTF regime will be developed by the first half of 2017.

Regulators in Australia and Ontario sign co-operation agreement

By Jim Bulling and Michelle Chasser

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) have signed a co-operation agreement to promote FinTech innovation. The agreement will make expansion into the Australian and Ontarian markets easier for growing FinTech businesses.

A referral mechanism has been created under the new agreement which allows ASIC to refer Australian FinTech businesses wanting to enter the Ontarian market to OSC and vice versa. Referred businesses will receive support to understand the market’s regulatory framework and how it applies to them from dedicated staff at the relevant regulator. To qualify for support FinTech businesses will need to meet the eligibility criteria of their home regulator including being a new or early stage FinTech business which has an innovation or product which will likely provide benefits to investors and consumers.

Both ASIC and OSC have established internal teams to assist FinTech businesses with their regulatory obligations and encourage development of the FinTech industry. ASIC’s Innovation Hub was established in April 2015 and OSC recently established LaunchPad in October 2016.

ASIC and OCS have also committed to share information about emerging market trends and potential impacts on regulation.

ASIC has entered into similar co-operation agreements with the UK Financial Conduct Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore amongst others this year.

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