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ASIC pledges to work with regtech

Regulators working with regtech makes a lot of sense

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ASIC is calling for feedback on its plans to work with Australian regtech.

Corporate regulator ASIC has pledged to work hand in glove with the regtech industry and spelled out everything it will do to help.

In a report published Friday, ASIC said it intends to create a “liaison group”, allowing experts and industry members to network; help trial new technologies; and run a major industry event later this year. 

“We think regtech provides opportunities for all and that it could provide good outcomes for regulators as well,” Mark Adams, Senior Executive Leader of ASIC’s Strategic Intelligence, told AltFi. 

“Now there are opportunities for all involved to support risk management and compliance outcomes.”

Mr Adams noted that similar initiatives had been taken by other global regulators, such as Britain’s FCA, Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission and Singapore’s MAS. 

How involved ASIC will be in these proposed commitments is, at this preliminary stage, quite vague. 

The report says ASIC will promote successful regtechs “in general terms” but nothing more precise (ASIC is barred by law from advertising and promoting a single product or company). It also says the liaison group’s events “may not include ASIC and other regulators”—leaving regulatory attendance an open question. 

The report was immediately welcomed by industry groups FinTech Australia and The RegTech Association. 

“We are very pleased to see that ASIC has identified the enormous potential of RegTech," said Julian Fenwick, chairman of the RegTech Association.

“We wouldn’t want this report to be the first and last word on regtech from the Australian Government but it is a fantastic start to help promote our Australian regtech industry.

“Given Australia’s existing robust financial services regulatory environment, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be a world leader in regtech innovation.”

Danielle Szetho, CEO of FinTech Australia, said the report was an important stepping stone to building out regtech.

ASIC’s strong focus on regtech is warmly welcomed, as it sends a signal both globally and domestically that Australia’s top financial services regulator considers this area as a  major priority for innovation,” she said.

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