The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has signed an agreement with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to promote innovation in finance.

Under the agreement, HKMA and FCA will partner on referrals of financial technology firms, joint innovation projects, information exchange and experience sharing to facilitate innovation in both Hong Kong and the UK.

HKMA said that the agreement is a key initiative of the Fintech Facilitation Office (FFO) of the monetary authority to build a vibrant financial technology ecosystem.

The agreement aims to minimise the barriers for authorised firms looking to expand its presence in overseas and assist non-UK innovators interested in entering the market the FCA oversees.

FCA has previously signed five co-operation agreements with international authorities, including Australia, Singapore, South Korea, and China.

HKMA executive director of financial infrastructure Shu-Pui Li said: “We are delighted to sign the Agreement with FCA. Both Hong Kong and the UK are well positioned as global financial centres and premier locations for financial innovation. Many fintech firms and financial institutions in the two markets have already gained a solid local footing.

“Collaboration between the HKMA and the FCA will create significant synergy for the two markets by enabling fintech firms and financial institutions to extend their global reach and learn from their foreign counterparts. It will also help to enhance services delivered by financial institutions.”

FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard said: “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.

“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."