10 March 2017
London
Reporter: Stephanie Palmer

FCA and JFSA in innovative partnership


Financial regulators in Japan and the UK have agreed on a cooperation framework to support financial technology companies in entering each market.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Financial Services Agency of Japan (JFSA) exchanged letters outlining a regulatory referral system for innovator businesses.

Japanese businesses will be referred by the JFSA to the FCA, and the latter will provide support in launching operations in the UK—and vice versa.

The scheme is intended to reduce regulatory uncertainty, and help cut time-to-market for fintech businesses.

The two regulators will also share information on financial services innovation in their respective markets, in order to reduce barriers to entry and further encourage innovation in both countries.

Shunsuke Shirakawa, vice commissioner for international affairs at the JFSA, said: “This is our first case in creating a pro-fintech cooperation framework with any other countries.”

“The UK is one of the world-leading fintech countries, generating £6.6 billion in revenue. We believe that this exchange of letters strengthens the relationship between the JFSA and the FCA and promotes innovation in our respective markets.”

The agreement follows a similar partnership between the FCA and the Ontario Securities Commission, announced in February, which saw the two regulators agree to support fintech start-ups entering each market.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “We are committed to encouraging innovation that has the potential to be of benefit to consumers using financial services here in the UK.”

“Today’s exchange of letters with the JFSA will help break down barriers to entry both in Japan and in the UK for firms with interesting new business services and products."

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