FCA Ambitions: a Global Fintech Sandbox

FCA Ambitions: a Global Fintech Sandbox

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who operates as the financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, has recently announced the launch of a consultation phase for its plan to create a global fintech sandbox. The purpose of sandbox would be to facilitate the development of companies testing their products and innovating in multiple countries, as well as to tackle cross-border issues due to different national regulations.

Along with other 11 financial regulators and related associations, the FCA unveiled the creation of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), after the initial announcement made in February 2018 about the intention to create a global fintech sandbox. The objective is now to go ahead with that, getting feedback and proposals from interested parties following the publication of a consultation document that is detailing the initiative.

The declared main functions of the new GFIN are:

1. To serve as a network for financial regulators to share best practices and stay updated on crucial fintech areas such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and big data, as well as to collaborate and make communication with fintech companies more effective;

2. To create a forum for regulators to work on joint international policies;

3. To develop an environment for financial firms to test cross-border solutions and services.

“The creation of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) is an important next step for organizations like ours who are actively engaged in understanding and harnessing the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers while managing the potential harm. […] The establishment of the GFIN can help share the experiences and knowledge from across different markets, while also providing a platform for innovative firms wishing to scale their propositions via testing in multiple countries”, said Christopher Woolard, FCA Executive Director of Strategy and Competition.

Currently the members of the Global Financial Innovation Network are: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, USA), Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ontario Securities Commission (OSC, Canada), Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).

All the interested stakeholders, from financial services firms to regulators, as well as from fintech firms, accelerators, and universities, are encouraged to participate in the development of GFIN by providing feedback and answering the questions posed in the published paper by 14 October 2018.

The full consultation document about the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), can be found here.

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