The Australian High Commissioner to the UK has revealed that the two countries are on the verge of inking a new FinTech agreement.
Speaking at a global trade conference last week, Australia’s high commissioner to the UK Alexander Downer reportedly stated that the two countries “are in the process of concluding negotiations on fintech”, a move that will boost Australia with direct ties to one of Britain’s fastest-growing industries.
As reported by International Investment, Downer further revealed that the agreement will bring enhanced cooperation between the two countries’ regulatory authorities.
A spokesperson for Her Majesty’s Treasury, the UK’s economic finance ministry, confirmed the advanced talks, stating:
The UK and Australia are currently working on the creation of a fintech bridge to increase FinTech trade and investment between both markets.
The FinTech pact builds on a previous agreement between the financial regulators of both countries in early 2016, heralded as a ‘world-first’ at the time. Earlier this year, another FinTech foray saw Australian multinational bank CBA ink an agreement with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) to assist Aussie industry startups and companies to gain entry into the UK market, commonly seen as one of the world’s foremost hubs for financial technologies. A highly favorable regulatory environment that has championed financial technologies like blockchain has also seen London regarded the FinTech capital of the world.
Fast carving a reputation as a FinTech hub in the region, Australia revealed drafts toward a new regulatory framework that will embrace FinTech startups with relaxed licensing requirements. The “game changer” framework, published in late October, will prove favorable to bitcoin and blockchain payments companies, designated as “non-cash payment” services as well as crowd-funding models that will include fundraising through initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Earlier in September, Australia’s securities regulator issued guidelines for ICO operators after recognizing their “potential” to make financing available to businesses and startups looking to raise funds.