Wednesday 7 December 2016 2:40 pm

The UK City watchdog's so good at fintech it's going to teach Hong Kong

The UK's forward thinking City regulator is exporting its fintech expertise, partnering with authorities in Hong Kong to foster innovation in finance.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) to share its knowledge and promote innovation between the two countries.

It's the latest example of the UK collaborating with other countries on fintech after creating so-called fintech bridges with Australia, Singapore, South Korea and most recently China, already this year. 

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“Alongside promoting innovation in UK businesses, we also want to see the best firms from around the world coming to the UK. Both consumers and the wider UK economy benefit from this transfer of ideas and innovation," said the FCA's director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard.

"The agreement signed today with the HKMA is a good example of this type of international co-operation and we look forward to working to promote innovation and reduce barriers to entry for firms both here in the UK and in Hong Kong."

Extending the fintech bridge scheme was identified as one of the ways to continue forging ahead in the fintech sector after Brexit.

The scheme means startups in the UK wanting to operate in Hong Kong and vic-versa, will be assisted by the regulators in the new country. They will also work closely on sharing information and research such as market trends.

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The door is also open to working on joint innovation projects and they may even share staff on secondment. The FCA said in September that the number of staff it has working within fintech has grown ten-fold in the past two years.

The UK's Project Innovate has spearheaded fintech, working closely with startups to help them navigate regulation and launched a "sandbox" accelerator to help firms test out new technologies. Several other fiannce regulators around the world have since followed in the FCA's footsteps, including Hong Kong.

A favourable regulatory environment has been credited with helping the UK become a world leader in fintech.