SC signs fintech cooperation deals with foreign regulators

This is to spur greater synergy in regulating innovations within the digital finance industry

by NG MIN SHEN / Pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has inked several agreements with regulators in major financial centres, to spur greater cooperation in facilitating and regulating innovations emerging within the digital finance industry.

The agreements, also known as financial technology (fintech) bridges, were signed with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Dubai Financial Services Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

This follows the first agreement signed between SC and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in June 2017.

The fintech bridges are to facilitate greater information sharing on emerging trends and regulatory developments, as well as referrals of innovative businesses seeking to operate in each other’s jurisdictions and the exploration of potential joint innovation projects.

SC chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh (picture) said the bridges with major markets in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East form part of SC’s digital strategy, in addition to building on the already well-established relationships between SC and these regulators.

“Such efforts will promote innovation within capital markets and enhance the cross-pollination of digital finance concepts, which will benefit financial services institutions, startups and investors alike,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Ranjit said the cooperation agreements would also help to shape a facilitative and up-to-date regulatory approach, thus strengthening the domestic landscape for fintech and digital innovation in capital markets.

The digital economy’s contribution to Malaysia’s gross domestic product is expected to grow to 20% by 2020.

As part of its digital agenda, SC was the first jurisdiction in the AsiaPacific region to regulate equity crowdfunding in 2015, followed by peerto-peer financing regulations in 2016.

To date, the registered marketbased financing platforms have cumulatively raised a total of RM28 million for 50 small and medium enterprises since coming into operation in the middle of last year.

In recent years, SC has also introduced regulations on digital investment management services, and launched its “Alliance of Fintech Community” initiative to engage with the growing fintech community in the country.

The regulator will be holding its fourth SCxSC Digital Finance Conference, an annual public conference that revolves around the adoption of technology to digitalise capital market products and services, on Nov 6 and Nov 7 this year.