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Hong Kong and Dubai Financial Regulators Enter FinTech Pact

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:59 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:59 PM

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) And the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) have entered a bilateral FinTech agreement toward the development and application of financial technologies.

The Securities and Futures Commission, an independent statutory authority that regulates the securities and futures markets in Hong Kong, one of the world’s major financial hubs, is joining forces with its Dubai counterpart to mutually work toward developing innovative financial technologies. In an announcement , the SFC revealed it entered a cooperation agreement with the DFSA that will see the two authorities establish a framework for ‘mutual assistance to keep abreast of the development and application of financial technology.’

The terms of the agreement will see the DFSA, the independent financial regulator of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) – a financial free zone in Dubai – cooperate with the SFC by sharing information, referring innovative FinTech firms to enter reach other’s markets with regulatory guidance and working on FinTech projects together.

SFC chief executive Ashley Alder stated:

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 DFSA to support FinTech development in both our markets.

Earlier this year, the DFSA released a consultation paper as a part of its innovation-friendly approach to regulating the FinTech sector, with the ultimate aim of establishing Dubai as a FinTech hub. In May, the DFSA reduced the regulatory barriers for new FinTech startups by granting its Innovation Testing License (ITL), a special class of financial services license that enables new startups to develop and test their concepts at the financial free zone.

For the DFSA, the FinTech partnership with Hong Kong’s securities regulator comes at a time when the emirate is markedly pursuing a wider technology remit mandated by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Ruler, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates. In its advent to become the ‘world’s first blockchain city’, Dubai is also working toward recording all of its documents on a blockchain by the year 2020. More recently, the government of Dubai entered a FinTech agreement with a UK-based blockchain startup to develop digital passports for entry at Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic.

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