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The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FSA) has inked a deal with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) designed to make it easier for fintech startups from each market to gain access to the other.

The FCA has made a concerted effort to foster London's position as a global fintech hub, setting up its innovation hub back in 2014 to help young firms navigate the complex regulatory landscape. Last year, the OSC looked to follow suit, opening its 'LaunchPad' as it seeks to push Ontario, home of Toronto, as a leading centre for financial technology.

The partnership means that, once referred by the home regulator, and ahead of applying for authorisation to operate in the new market, businesses will have access to dedicated staff that will help them to understand the regulatory framework in the market they wish to join, and how it applies to them.

The FCA and OSC have also committed to share information on emerging trends and regulatory issues pertaining to innovation in financial services.

The new deal is not a first for either watchdog; the FCA has already committed to building fintech bridges with Singapore and South Korea, while the OSC has an arrangement in place with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Christopher Woolard, executive director, strategy and competition, FCA, says the agreement "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".

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