New “Global Sandbox” Announced

By Jonathan Lawrence

Twelve financial regulators and related organisations, including the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), announced on 7 August the creation of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), building on the FCA’s proposal earlier this year to create a ‘global sandbox’.  A list of GFIN members is here.  The network will seek to provide a more efficient way for innovative FinTech firms to interact with regulators.  It will also create a new framework for co-operation between financial services regulators on innovation related topics.

A consultation was also announced on the role the GFIN should play in delivering its objectives. The three main functions of the GFIN will be to:

  • act as a network of regulators to collaborate and share experience of innovation in respective markets;
  • provide a forum for joint policy work and discussions; and
  • provide firms with an environment in which to trial cross-border solutions.

As part of the consultation, the group is seeking views on the mission statement for the GFIN, its proposed functions, and where it should prioritise activity.

The announcement follows an initial consultation on the idea of a ‘global sandbox’ in February 2018 and provides an update on the next steps of the project. Key themes to emerge in the feedback included:

  • Regulatory co-operation: Providing a setting for regulators to collaborate on common challenges or policy questions firms face in different jurisdictions.
  • Speed to market:  Reducing the time it takes to bring ideas to new international markets.
  • Governance: Being transparent and fair to those potential firms wishing to apply for cross-border testing.
  • Emerging technologies/business models: Artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology, data protection, regulation of securities and Initial Coin Offerings, Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering.

The working group is asking for feedback on the consultation questions by 14 October 2018.

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