Regulation  

FCA in fintech agreement with US regulator

FCA in fintech agreement with US regulator

The Financial Conduct Authority has signed an agreement with its US counterpart to collaborate in supporting innovative firms through eachother's fintech initiatives.

The FCA has been running its Project Innovate since 2014 in order to support businesses with innovative fintech business models.

Meanwhile the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission runs LabCFTC to address a similar issue.

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The agreement focuses on information-sharing regarding fintech market trends and developments.

But it also facilitates the referral of fintech companies interested in entering the others’ market, and sharing information and insight derived from each authority's relevant sandbox, proof of concept, or innovation competitions.

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, said: "International borders shouldn't act as a barrier to innovation and competition in financial services and that is why agreements like the one we have signed today with the CFTC, a forward looking and proactive regulator, are so important.

"As our first agreement of this kind with a US regulator, we look forward to working with LabCFTC in assisting firms, both here in the UK and in the US, who want to scale and expand internationally in our respective markets.

"As part of the arrangement, the FCA and the CFTC will be hosting a joint event in London to demonstrate how firms can engage with both regulators."

To date, the FCA’s Innovation Hub has supported more than 500 businesses and with the authorisation of 43.

The FCA also runs a Regulatory Sandbox which allows firms with innovative business models to test their services in a safe space, as well as an Advice Unit to work specifically on the issue of developing automated advice models.

Meanwhile LabCFTC has engaged with more than 150 entities since its launch last year, published its first primer on the topic of virtual currencies, and soon will seek public feedback on a planned 2018 innovation competition.

J Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the CFTC, said: "The FCA's Project Innovate is the gold standard for thoughtful regulatory engagement with emerging technological innovation.

"Therefore, I am delighted to join Andrew Bailey in this arrangement to demonstrate our cross-Atlantic commitment to facilitating market-enhancing innovation and sharing best practices in fintech engagement."

damian.fantato@ft.com