London
23 February 2017
Reporter: Stephanie Palmer

UK and Ontario regulators team up for fintech


The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) have signed a cooperation agreement to support financial technology start-ups entering each market.

Under the new agreement, a UK fintech firm thinking about operating in Ontario will be able to seek referral from the FCA, and will gain support from the OSC, and vice versa. Through the agreement, the regulators can help reduce regulatory uncertainty for start-ups and improve time-to-market.

The initiative is designed to help businesses navigate the regulatory framework, to support them through authorisation, and to facilitate engagement with both regulators.

Once a firm has been referred by its regulator, it will have access to dedicated staff to help it understand the regulatory market it is entering, and how the regulations apply to them.

The two regulators will also share information on emerging trends and regulatory issues related to innovation in financial services.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “Today’s agreement with the OSC is a positive step towards promoting financial innovation in each of our respective markets.”

“It provides fintech businesses in Ontario and the UK with ready access to the regulatory support they need, and we look forward to welcoming firms referred to us by the OSC to assist them in understanding the UK market and its financial regulation.”

The FCA launched its Innovation Hub in 2014, while the OSC launched the OSC LaunchPad in October 2016.

Maureen Jensen, chair and CEO of the OSC, said: “Since unveiling OSC LaunchPad last year, we are hearing from many emerging businesses that offer innovative services, products and applications of benefit to investors. Many of these businesses are also seeking to expand globally, and this agreement reflects our ongoing commitment to enhancing their regulatory experience.”

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