By Adam Levine and Ben Kiernan-Green
On 19 April 2017 the K&L Gates Perth office hosted a Perth FinTech Meetup, chaired by ASIC Commissioner John Price. The event provided clients, lawyers and members of the FinTech and crowd-funding communities an opportunity to hear about ASIC’s involvement and commitment to the development of the ASIC Innovation Hub, ASIC’s regulatory sandbox and RegTech.
Mr Price was particularly keen to discuss ASIC’s regulatory sandbox framework, which allows start-ups and other entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and test their ideas under the regulatory sandbox exemption. This licensing exemption allows eligible businesses to test specified services for up to 12 months with up to 100 retail clients under more limited regulation, provided they meet certain customer protections. This exemption will be extremely beneficial for inexperienced start-ups with limited access to capital.
It was clear from Mr Price’s comments at the event that ASIC views the emergence of RegTech as a means to continue encouraging innovation through FinTech, while not compromising on ASIC’s core activity of promoting investor and consumer confidence by ensuring markets operate fairly and transparently through more effective regulation. Mr Price observed that RegTech has enormous potential to assist businesses with their compliance issues as well as assisting ASIC with the way they undertake their regulatory work. Accordingly, ASIC are looking to increase their engagement with RegTech development firms primarily through the ASIC Innovation Hub.
The recent and continual exponential growth in the RegTech and FinTech areas coupled with ASIC’s desire to be actively involved in the field means that this area will be one to watch.