Bank of England FinTech Accelerator Lessons

By Jonathan Lawrence

In remarks on 6 October: The Bank of England’s FinTech Accelerator: what have we done and what have we learned?, Andrew Hauser (Executive Director, Banking, Payments and Financial Resilience) surveyed the Bank’s current and future contributions to the FinTech regulatory debate.

Mr Hauser predicts that traditional distinctions between regulated and unregulated activities will blur as conventional models of intermediation being progressively ‘unbundled’. He posed questions about judging the appropriate positioning of the regulatory perimeter to ensure that risks are appropriately overseen whilst allowing valuable innovation to flourish. He highlighted a Proof of Concept within the Bank’s accelerator, Enforcd, which examines tools allowing the Bank’s legal team to draw out common trends in publicly available regulatory enforcement actions in order to inform the Bank’s own work.

He highlights the following:

  • first-hand experience of a range of new technologies, helping the Bank to evaluate their application both to its own functions and the wider market;
  • work on DLT helping the Bank to think through how the financial networks of the future may be able to operate in more efficient ways;
  • work on data analysis in order to manage ever larger data sets to monitor the economy and the financial system in real time and draw out patterns that might help the Bank set better policy or spot the next financial crisis;
  • machine learning to help the Bank engage with that data in a more interactive way, putting computers alongside Bank staff to help them form the judgments on which monetary and financial stability depend;
  • valuable connections with important parts of the financial and technology sector beyond the regulatory perimeter; and
  • exposing central bankers to some very different ways of working and thinking.

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