The British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a ‘global sandbox’ for financial technology industry (FinTech) in a bid to provide a platform for testing cross-border ideas in a light regulatory environment and to encourage cooperation between regulators and multinational companies, FCA said on Tuesday. Called Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), it targets various FinTech initiatives like the crypto crowdfunding model of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the distributed ledger technology (DLT) sector.
Now FCA along with ten international partners including the United States Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) is accepting recommendations about the Global Financial Innovation Network and its mission before launching GFIN’s full-scale activities next year. FinTech companies such as crypto and blockchain startups can send their feedback till October 14.
“The major emerging innovation trends within financial services are increasingly global, rather than domestic, in nature. For instance, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain based solutions are being developed and deployed simultaneously in different financial markets,” GFIN said in the consultation document.
“Since there is a general trend towards developing these digital solutions, now is a time to consider how to begin building new ways to share experience and manage the questions that emerge.”
GFIN aims to reconsider the existing ways of working and collaborating, in order to balance the potential benefits of innovation (for consumers and the financial sector as a whole) with traditional policy objectives, namely financial stability, integrity, financial inclusion, competition and consumer well-being and protection.
The body consists of eleven agencies along with FCA and CFPB: the Province of Ontario Securities Commission, Australian Securities & Investments Commission, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Autorité des marchés financiers (Québec), Abu Dhabi Global Markets, Central Bank of Bahrain, Dubai Financial Services Authority, Guernsey Financial Services Commission, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and international consultancy body CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor).
GFIN is a result of FCA’s idea for a global sandbox, revealed in February. After receiving more than 50 answers, FCA decided to create the Global Financial Innovation Network with its international partners. The FCA British sandbox program also played a significant part in the idea of establishing GFIN, the regulator said. The latest, fourth, sandbox cohort has seen the number of DLT companies soar by 40%.