The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has signed an agreement with Canadian regulator Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to support fintech startups in the two jurisdictions.

Under the agreement, the two regulators will refer to each other the fintech businesses looking to enter the other’s market.

After the regulatory reference and prior to applying for approval to operate in the new market, the business will receive dedicated staff to help them understand the regulatory framework in the market the business intends to join, the regulators said.

In addition, the watchdogs will also offer support to innovative businesses, as well as exchange information on emerging trends and regulatory issues on innovation in the fintech space.

FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard said: “Today’s agreement with the OSC is a positive step towards promoting financial innovation in each of our respective markets. It provides FinTech businesses in Ontario and the UK with ready access to the regulatory support they need and we look forward to welcoming firms referred to us by the OSC to assist them in understanding the UK market and its financial regulation.”

 The agreement follows FCA’s launch of its Innovation Hub in 2014 and OSC’s launch of OSC LaunchPad in 2016, which aim to support innovative business navigate the regulatory framework.

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OSC chair and CEO Maureen Jensen said: “Since unveiling OSC LaunchPad last year, we are hearing from many emerging businesses that offer innovative services, products and applications of benefit to investors. Many of these businesses are also seeking to expand globally, and this agreement reflects our ongoing commitment to enhancing their regulatory experience.”