Ontario Securities Commission signs regulatory fintech agreement with UK body

Published: February 24, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced an agreement that will allow fintech businesses in both regions to seek support from financial regulators when they want to operate in the opposite market.

For example, if an Ontarian fintech company wants to operate in the UK, it can rely on support from the FCA. The deal works the other direction for UK companies.

The agreement was sign on Wednesday and is called the Co-operation Agreement. It allows the FCA and the OSC to recommend to each other “innovate businesses” that want to enter the other’s market. A press release adds that regulators in the jurisdictions can support fintech businesses to “help reduce regulatory uncertainty and time to market,” the release noted.

Both bodies have recently launched separate initiatives that tie into the agreement, the FCA’s Innovation Hub arrived in 2014, and the OSC introduced LaunchPad in 2016. “These initiatives are designed to help businesses with innovative ideas navigate the regulatory framework, support them through authorization and facilitate their engagement with their respective regulator,” OSC said in the release.

“Since unveiling OSC LaunchPad last year, we are hearing from many emerging businesses that offer innovative services, products and applications of benefit to investors,” said Maureen Jensen, chair and CEO of the OSC. “Many of these businesses are also seeking to expand globally, and this agreement reflects our ongoing commitment to enhancing their regulatory experience.”

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, concluded the agreement is “a positive step towards promoting financial innovation in each of our respective markets. It provides fintech businesses in Ontario and the U.K. with ready access to the regulatory support they need and we look forward to welcoming firms referred to us by the OSC to assist them in understanding the U.K. market and its financial regulation.”

In early November, the OSC and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission signed a similar deal.