The UK has entered 5 FinTech Bridge agreements with other FinTech hubs including Singapore, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Australia. These bespoke agreements create valuable opportunities for the UK by overcoming barriers to international market entry and linking UK-based FinTechs with opportunities for international investment through:
- Collaboration between key players in the UK FinTech sector and in Bridge markets on emerging market trends
- Regulatory agreements that support firms to overcome market access barriers in each jurisdiction
By sharing knowledge and best-practice with Bridge jurisdictions, and aligning international FinTech policy development, we are increasing opportunities for FinTech firms to export solutions to key markets at pace.
HM Treasury, the Department for International Trade, and the Financial Conduct Authority are responsible for the delivery of FinTech Bridge policy.
UK-Australia FinTech Bridge
The UK-Australia FinTech Bridge is a bilateral agreement that aims to strengthen engagement on fintech policy and regulation, facilitate trade flows and access to capital opportunities, and address barriers to international growth.
What is being carried out under the Bridge?
The Department for International Trade (DIT) launched a pilot program for 10 UK firms in April to run across the UK-Australia FinTech Bridge during 2019. The Program opens up further opportunities for UK financial technology companies to reduce barriers faced when expanding into the Australian market, providing tailored, structured support for each company within the cohort.
The FinTech Bridge Program Cohort for 2019 is: Crowd2Fund, Disberse, Fractal Labs, pirkx, Recordsure, Smart Pension, Thyngs, TradingHub, True Layer.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to support firms navigate the regulatory system in each market. Firms that meet certain eligibility criteria can access opportunities including support accessing regulatory sandboxes in each market, and a referral system to direct firms to both regulators’ Innovation Hubs.
HM Treasury and the Australian Department of the Treasury now hold quarterly Working Groups to bring together the key agencies including ASIC, Austrade, the FCA and DIT to share experience and expertise of fintech policy; and consider feedback provided by fintechs seeking to enter each market. To date, discussions have covered the regulatory sandbox, the UK’s Open Banking initiative and Crytpoasset Taskforce, Australia’s New Payments Platform and stored value facilities, Australia’s Consumer Data Right, and Australia’s Review into ICOs. Firms that have experience of moving into either the UK or Australia and would like to raise issues that may be addressed through the FinTech Bridge discussions should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is eligible to benefit from the FinTech Bridge?
- UK FinTech businesses expanding into Australia
- Australian FinTech businesses expanding into UK
- Investors seeking opportunities in both markets
- To apply for Bridge support from DIT to enter the Australian market, contact FSOfintechs@trade.gov.uk. Firms seeking to move from Australia into the UK market should contact London@austrade.gov.au.