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Australasia Regtech Spotlight

RegTech: An Opportunity to Boost Australia and UK Trade Relations?

Recent research shows that the RegTech (regulatory technology) sector is a huge opportunity to strengthen trade ties between the UK and Australia. Commissioned by the New South Wales Government and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, new research by RegTech Associates highlights the advantages of the UK and Ireland as a market for regulatory technology firms with solutions that help regulated firms meet their obligations.

Stuart Ayres, the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney said, “As this report outlines, the UK and Australia share similar regulatory environments, making London and Sydney RegTechs well suited to expand in each other’s markets.”

As one of the biggest financial centres in the world, London is an international hub for RegTech firms. RegTech Associates data shows that in the UK and Ireland alone, there are 288 homegrown technology products solving regulatory problems from fighting financial crime to regulatory reporting.

Crucially, the UK and Ireland boast governments that are supportive of technological innovation. Financial regulators in the UK such as the Financial Conduct Authority are extremely forward-looking and are actively exploring the use of innovative technologies to address long-standing challenges, such as improving the efficiency of the mandatory reports that financial firms must submit to their regulators.

Some key findings from the report include:

  • The majority of RegTech products in both markets fall into the Financial Crime category, with 27.7% in the UK and 30.4% in Australia respectively
  • The UK RegTech market is more mature than Australia. 53.6% of Australian products are less than five years old’, however only 35.4% in the UK.
  • Australian RegTech products have the second-highest foreign presence in the UK with 9.1% market share, beaten only by the USA

Daren Cade, COO of Arctic Intelligence, a Sydney based RegTech firm that has expanded into the UK said: “The UK presents a unique and sizable opportunity for RegTech vendors from Australia and vice-versa. Close historical ties, relatively unrestricted movement of people, similar cultures and a single language all make this an easier move for expanding vendors than many others. Additionally, the UK regulatory environment and Financial Conduct Authority are world-renowned as being both ‘tough’ but supportive in equal measure, providing a perfect combination for early-stage technology vendors to expand.”

New South Wales (NSW) is an equally inviting destination for UK and European based RegTechs who want to expand overseas, as Minister Stuart Ayres explains: “Sydney is clearly the regtech leader not only in Australia but in the Asia Pacific and with investment from markets like the UK, there is enormous potential for jobs generation and investment. From backing the Sydney Startup Hub to launching Tech Central this year, the NSW Government has been right behind NSW’s booming tech industry.”

With free trade agreement talks between the UK and Australia proceeding well, and in light of Brexit, opportunities to further strengthen trade ties between the two countries are welcomed and the RegTech industry is set to be a big part of that.

Jason Bound, CEO of RegTech Associates said, “The UK is a leader in the growing and global RegTech market and as a specialist research company, we are delighted to have been commissioned by the Australian Government in supporting the growth of the market. The RegTech and RiskTech industries continue to thrive, despite or rather because of the pandemic, and we see a massive opportunity for global technology leaders to come to the UK, using London as a launchpad for their business.”

“With its Startup/Tech ecosystem, supportive regulatory bodies, and large financial services industry, the UK&I is fertile ground for RegTech and RiskTech companies. Our research will help The NSW Government, Austrade, and Australian startups to land and launch their businesses here. This forms a part of our ongoing work to help regulatory technology vendors expand into new markets, with a webinar taking place in early October on the same subject.

Author

  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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