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Dubai and Australia forge fintech alliance

The signing took place between Ian Johnston, chief executive of the DFSA, and John Price, commissioner of ASIC. (Supplied)
LONDON: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have struck an agreement to cooperate on financial technology (fintech) innovation.
The accord, unveiled on Thursday, aims to promote innovation in financial services within a regulated market environment — dubbed “regtech” — via the exchange of information and the development of joint initiatives, according to a statement released by the DFSA.
The statement said ASIC was already providing help to startups through its Digital Finance Advisory Committee. John Price, commissioner of the ASIC, said: “Regtech is becoming more and more important — this is a new frontier in our bilateral cooperation that will benefit both regulators and businesses.”
A referral mechanism will enable DFSA and ASIC to refer innovative businesses to their respective authorities, according to the statement.
Ian Johnston, CEO of DFSA said: “Today’s agreement underscores our commitment to maintaining strong channels of communication with our regulatory peers and creates a regulatory framework that supports the latest developments in fintech innovation.”
The agreement forms part of a rollout of UAE innovation initiatives. In August, the DFSA launched the first tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms in the GCC. It has also introduced an innovation testing license that allows fintech firms to develop and test innovative concepts in or from the DIFC.
The DFSA’s initiatives follow the launch of the Fintech Hive at the Dubai International Financial Center, which aims to bring together entrepreneurs and business leaders to address the needs of the region’s financial services industry, using innovative solutions.
DIFC wants to “catalyze growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Shariah-based services,” according to the ­statement.

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