Regulators look to establish global FinTech innovation sandbox

The UK’s FCA and ten other financial regulators have laid out plans for a new global financial innovation network.

By Hayley McDowell

Eleven financial regulators are teaming up to explore the development of a global innovation sandbox following the success of the initiative in multiple countries.

The Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) will aim to build on existing bilateral cooperation agreements between regulatory bodies for deeper and larger scale sharing of information on innovation in investment.

Those involved include the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Autorité des marchés financiers in Québec, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Monetary Authority of Singapore, among others.

The three main focuses of the GFIN will be acting as network of regulators to share experience of innovation in domestic markets, providing a forum for joint policy work, and offering firms an environment to trial cross-border services.

“The creation of the Global Financial Innovation Network is an important next step for organisations like ours who are actively engaged in understanding and harnessing the benefits of innovation in financial services for consumers, while managing the potential harm,” said Christopher Woolard, FCA executive director of strategy and competition.

“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.”

The initial idea for the global sandbox was put forward in February and a consultation revealed that market participants were keen on the idea of cross-border regulatory collaboration.

“The opportunities and challenges created by fintech are not bound by jurisdictional borders,” added Howard Lee, deputy chief executive of the HKMA.

“The GFIN initiative will enable regulators across the globe to share experience and knowledge in realising the benefits while managing the risks. The HKMA is delighted to be a founding contributor of the initiative, and looks forward to facilitating the creation of a healthy fintech ecosystem.”

GFIN has now launched another consultation and is seeking feedback on the network’s main focuses. Responses will be accepted until 14 October.