Tag: Government support

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Australian and UK financial regulators sign co-operation agreement
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Australian Government gets more FinTech friendly
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Asia Pacific Governments increase support for fintech

Australian and UK financial regulators sign co-operation agreement

By Jim Bulling and Michelle Chasser

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have signed a co-operation agreement to promote fintech innovation. The agreement will make expansion into Australian and UK markets easier for growing fintech businesses.

Both ASIC and FCA have already established innovation hubs to assist fintech businesses with their regulatory obligations and encourage development of the industry. A referral mechanism has been created under the new agreement which allows ASIC to refer Australian fintech businesses wanting to enter the UK market to FCA and vice versa. Referred businesses will then receive the same support from the other country’s innovation hub as local businesses.

ASIC and FCA also undertake to share information about emerging market trends and developments, regulatory issues pertaining to innovation in financial services and referred businesses. Shared information will be valuable for developing fintech regulations.

Australian Government gets more FinTech friendly

By Jim Bulling and Michelle Chasser

The Australian Government has released its responses to the industry’s priorities for fintech development which it has called “Backing Australian FinTech”. As well as affirming existing commitments, such as introducing a crowd sourced equity funding (CSEF) framework and an incubator support programme, the paper includes a number of initiatives that the Government proposes to undertake. New developments include:

  • introduction of an entrepreneur visa in November 2016 for foreign entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing from a third party;
  • possibly increasing the asset and turnover eligibility threshold for CSEF to A$25 million and reducing cooling off periods for investors to 48 hours;
  • consultation on a potential framework for crowd sourced debt funding;
  • increasing the maximum fund size of Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLPs) to A$200 million and providing a 10% tax offset on capital invested;
  • introduction of a mechanism to allow Innovation Australia to issue binding advice in relation to the definition of ineligible activities for ESVCLPs;
  • Productivity Commission inquiry into options for improving access to comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) data;
  • a regulatory guide for robo-advice providers;
  • possibly allowing licensed insurance brokers to sell insurance policies from unauthorised foreign insurers where they offer consumers a better price and appropriate consumer protection;
  • possibly applying anti-money laundering laws to digital currencies;
  • a commitment to address the ‘double taxation’ of using digital currency to purchase goods already subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST);
  • establishment of a new Cyber Security Growth Centre; and
  • a ‘regulatory sandbox’ in Australia to allow FinTech start-ups to test their products and business models.

Backing Australian FinTech indicates that 2016 will be a busy year for fintech regulation in Australia.

Read Backing Australian FinTech here.

Asia Pacific Governments increase support for fintech

By Jim Bulling and Michelle Chasser

Following on from the launch of the Fintech Advisory Committee last month, the Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has announced that the Australian Government will provide AU$150,000 to fund fintech hub Stone & Chalk’s Asia Program based in Shanghai. In making the announcement Mr Morrison said “We will support the industry in its objective of making Australia the leading market for fintech innovation and investment in Asia by 2017”.

The Hong Kong Government is also currently laying the foundations for a strong regulatory and financial support system for the fintech sector in Hong Kong.

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