Australia & Japan to Increase Fintech Cooperation


June 23, 2017

Australian financial authorities have announced a completion of a framework that will see them start cooperating with their Japanese counterparts. The framework is aimed at promoting innovation in the financial services sector, bringing the fintech sector in both countries ever closer to each other.


Details of the cooperation agreement


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced the cooperation deal with Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) on Friday. According to the new framework, JFSA and ASIC will share information with each other, as well as support the entry of fintech businesses into each other’s markets.


The agreement will help both authorities to refer innovative fintech businesses to each other. This will provide businesses looking to operate in either the Australian or the Japanese market extra support and assistance. Japan’s fintech dealings will take place through the FinTech Support Desk run by the JFSA. In Australia, ASIC runs a similar operation called Innovation Hub. The services are currently providing information to local fintech businesses about the country’s regulatory framework.


Information sharing will also play a crucial role in the cooperation agreement. The framework is expected to help both authorities stay updated on each other’s regulatory developments. It will also make it easier to exchange information on other economic or commercial developments in respective jurisdictions that might impact fintech businesses. Overall, it can help ensure fintech companies are more aware of the local approach to regulation.


ASIC Commissioner John Price was quoted in stating, “Japan has been a world leader in technology for a long time. As we move into a new era of financial regulation, we look forward to sharing experiences and insights with our colleagues at the JFSA.”


Shunsuke Shirakawa, the Vice Commissioner for International Affairs at the JFSA, echoed the sentiment, stating, “We believe that this Framework further strengthens our relationship and facilitates our co-operation in further developing our respective markets.”


Australia is looking to enhanced cooperation in Asia


The framework agreement is not the first time the Australian financial authority is cooperation with its Asian counterparts in terms of the fintech sector. ASIC has previously this month signed an arrangement with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). That particular deal will see both authorities support fintech businesses seeking to operate in their markets.


Furthermore, ASIC has entered into referral and information sharing agreements in the sector with Singapore and Indonesia. Australian interest in deepening ties with fintech businesses around the world has also led to similar agreements with Kenya, Ontario and the UK.


It released a regulatory sandbox policy at the end of last year to make it easier for fintech businesses to test particular products and services. The sandbox allows the businesses to test without an official Australian financial services or credit licence, albeit for a limited period.


The JFSA has also been actively involved in promoting fintech businesses in Japan. The financial authority has helped modify the legal system to allow financial groups to invest in finance related IT companies and established a framework for virtual currency and Open API.

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