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Hong Kong & Dubai Regulators Agree Fintech Collaboration

Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) & Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)Hong Kong’s securities regulator has partnered with its counterpart in Dubai to support the development and use of financial technology (fintech).

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced earlier this week that it had entered into a formal agreement with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to set up a framework that will help boost the development of the fintech industry.

Fintech typically involves financial companies using technology and big data to offer customers innovative services at lower costs.

The two regulators said that they would be collaborating on a number of areas including information sharing, potential projects encouraging innovation and referrals of fintech firms.

BBC Newsnight

Referred fintech companies will receive support from the concerned authorities with respect to current developments in the industry, regulatory issues surrounding the financial services sector and information on firms developing financial innovation in the country.

In a statement Ashley Alder, chief executive of the SFC said

This agreement underscores the SFC’s efforts to strengthen regulatory collaboration and promote innovation in financial services. We look forward to working closely with the Dubai Financial Services Authority to support fintech development in both our markets.

This is not the first such initiative by the Hong Kong regulator. The SFC has earlier entered into similar agreements with financial regulators of Australia and Britain to promote the fintech industry. Ian Johnston, chief executive of the DFSA, noted that the partnership would deepen the relationship between the two markets and build common understanding regarding innovation.

Hong Kong and Dubai are keen to establish a foothold in the fintech space even as traditional centers for the industry such as London, New York and Singapore try to increase their influence. Both regulators have been taking recent steps to enhance the understanding and growth of fintech in their respective markets.

The DFSA recently introduced a special regulatory regime for investment and loans crowdfunding platforms that increase market efficiencies and deliver better services to customers. The SFC has set up a Fintech Contact Point to guide companies in understanding the local laws better.

Dubai authorities have also set up an accelerator program called the FinTech Hive and an incubator called Innovation Testing License (ITL). Benny Mau Ying-yuen, chairman of Hong Kong’s Securities Association welcomed the initiative, pointing out that several brokers are hesitant to adopt new technologies. Regulators can facilitate the adoption of big data and AI in the brokerage industry by developing a clear regulatory framework.

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