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CFTC, Australia’s securities commission join forces on fintech innovation

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission announced a cooperation arrangement Thursday to support financial technology innovation.

Both regulators have fintech initiatives — the CFTC's LabCFTC and ASIC's Innovation Hub — and the agreement will focus on sharing information on market trends, proofs of concept or competitions, and facilitating referrals of FinTech companies interested in entering the others' market.

J. Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the CFTC, said in a statement the agreement will encourage development of emerging financial and compliance technologies and enhance global awareness of the role of regulators. James Shipton, ASIC chair, said in the same statement that the arrangement "assists innovative businesses to grow across borders and allows for greater information sharing and cooperation by the two regulators."

Since launching their respective initiatives to help businesses navigate the regulatory landscape, Australia's Innovation Hub has supported more than 300 businesses and authorized more than 60 fintech businesses. The CFTC's LabCFTC has engaged with more than 200 entities since its May 2017 launch. The CFTC is also seeking public input on potential innovation competitions.

The CFTC signed a similar cooperation agreement with the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority in February.