Abu Dhabi and Australia ally for fintech innovation
The Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have signed a co-operation agreement for financial innovation.
This agreement, which follows on from recent deals with Hong Kong and Japan, expands ASIC’s network to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – which are “currently poised for a fintech boom, with several cities taking steps to establish themselves as fintech hubs”.
According to ASIC, most fintech activity in MENA has occurred in the payments space, with start-ups offering services including bill payment, electronic wallets, mobile and online payment solutions.
ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft says: “Fintech developments are not confined by national borders. Each country and region has a different experience with fintech, and there is much we can learn from engaging with one another.”
Similar to other agreements, FSRA and ASIC will refer fintech businesses to each other for advice and support via ASIC’s innovation hub and its ADGM equivalent, aka RegLab. FSRA and ASIC will also share information and offer help to firms to understand the regulatory regimes in each of their jurisdictions.
The United Arab Emirates (where the ADGM is located) is Australia’s largest trading partner in the Middle East, with two-way goods and services trade worth $8.8 billion in 2015.
This is the seventh fintech referral agreement ASIC has entered into, following on from agreements with the UK, Singapore, Ontario, Malaysia – and the two above.