The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA) have signed a co-operation agreement to share information about innovation in their markets including:
- emerging market trends and developments; and
- regulatory issues relating to innovation in financial services.
Kenya was an early adopter of FinTech with the launch of mobile phone based payments system M-Pesa back in 2007. It has since become one of the leading FinTech countries in Africa particularly in payments and credit innovations.
Paul Muthaura, the Chief Executive of CMA, stated that CMA is committed to “facilitating innovation in financial services, leveraging Kenya’s positioning in the region as an innovation centre” and intends to establish a regulatory sandbox. CMA has also stated that it is keen to share best practices in addressing regulatory issues pertaining to innovation in financial services.
ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, stated that financial services innovation is not confined by national borders and the co-operation agreement “will help break down barriers to entry both [in Australia] and Kenya”.
This year, ASIC has also signed co-operation agreements with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ontario Securities Commission. These agreements contained similar information sharing undertakings and also created a referral mechanism for businesses wanting support to enter into the other markets which is not present in the Kenyan agreement.