FINANCIAL regulators in the UK and Japan have signed an agreement to promote fintech businesses and market intelligence between their respective jurisdictions.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Financial Services Agency of Japan (JFSA) have exchanged letters outlining agreements to share information on fintech developments in each country and help firms access each respective market.
The FCA works with fintech companies through its Project Innovate initiative to encourage better services for consumers, while the JFSA runs a similar FinTech Support Desk.
Read more: UK government steps up fintech strategy
Both authorities will refer fintech businesses to each other and share information on market trends and regulatory issues.
Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said the move would help meet the regulator’s overarching statutory objective of promoting competition.
“We are committed to encouraging innovation that has the potential to be of benefit to consumers using financial services here in the UK,” he said.
“This will help break down barriers to entry both in Japan and in the UK for firms with interesting new business services and products.”
Shunsuke Shirakawa, the vice commissioner for international affairs at the JFSA, said the agreement would encourage Japanese startup companies to engage with financial businesses globally and will attract UK companies to the Japanese market, stimulating the economy.
“This is our first case in creating a pro-FinTech Co-operation Framework with any other countries,” Shirakawa said.
“The UK is one of the world-leading fintech countries, generating £6.6bn 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.”
Read more: FCA calls for action over wholesale lending
The UK has established a number of fintech partnerships with Asian countries. Last November, it announced that it had created a fintech ‘bridge’ with China. Later that month, RateSetter and Crowd2Fund were among the fintech firms that accompanied City minister Simon Kirby on a trade mission to Singapore, to strengthen ties with the region.