The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA) have inked a co-operation agreement to promote innovation in financial services in both markets.

Under the pact, the regulators have agreed to exchange information such as emerging market trends and regulatory issues arising from the growth in innovation in their respective markets.

ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft said: ‘We are excited to be working more closely with CMA. It operates in a jurisdiction that has seen significant fintech innovation growth. Innovation in financial services isn’t confined by national borders. We hope this agreement will help to break down barriers to entry both here and in Kenya.

“Since ASIC launched its Innovation Hub in 2015, we have seen a surge in requests by fintech start-ups seeking assistance about how to navigate the regulatory requirements.”

In June 2016, ASIC signed a similar co-operation agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to help fintech startups in the two countries. In the same month, the Australian regulator also issued a consultation paper that proposes a regulatory sandbox licensing exemption to facilitate fintech innovation.

CMA CEO Paul Muthaura said: “We are committed to facilitating innovation in financial services, leveraging Kenya’s positioning in the region as an innovation centre. This however calls for us to assess lessons learned and to compare strategies to balance innovation and regulation with our peer regulators.”

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In order to promote innovation in the capital markets, CMA has already started efforts towards setting up a regulatory sandbox, Muthaura said.