Client Alert

Announcing the Global Financial Innovation Network

10 Aug 2018

On 7 August, 2018, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it has, in collaboration with 11 other financial regulators and related organisations[1], including the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, created the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) to provide a more efficient way for innovative firms operating in multiple jurisdictions to interact with regulators.

The GFIN has published a consultation document[2], in which it sets out the draft mission statement of the GFIN, namely to act as a network of regulators to collaborate, share experience and best practice and communicate to innovative firms; to provide a forum into policy work; and to provide innovative firms with an environment in which to trial cross‑border solutions (whether business to consumer or business to business).

The genesis of the GFIN was a proposition published by the UK FCA in February 2018 on the idea of a “Global Sandbox,” following a recognition that emerging innovation trends (such as artificial intelligence and blockchain-based technology) within financial services tend to be global, rather than domestic, in nature.

The GFIN notes that many international regulators have created initiatives designed to engage with the growth of FinTech in financial services and considers that these activities and initiatives should be aimed at achieving three main outcomes:

  • bringing improvements to the broader financial services markets that benefit consumers and other market participants (such as new and/or more accessible consumer products, or the development of new technologies to facilitate the delivery of regulatory requirements (RegTech);
  • ensuring regulatory authorities understand the latest market and technological developments; and
  • working with innovative firms to help them understand what regulatory requirements they need to meet.

Some national regulators have utilised regulatory sandboxes to allow firms to trial new products or services, and other regulators have set up innovation departments or accelerators to support firms. Some regulators have even implemented new technology in their organisations to improve the way they carry out their supervisory functions (SupTech).

The GFIN encourages innovative financial services firms, financial services regulators, technology companies, technology providers, trade bodies, accelerators, consumer groups and other stakeholders to read and respond to the various questions it poses in the consultation document, including whether market participants agree with the GFIN’s draft mission statement.

The GFIN has asked for feedback on the consultation questions by 14 October, 2018, and has set up an e-mail address – GFIN@FCA.org.uk – for anyone wishing to provide input in relation to development of the network. The consultation paper also publishes a list of contacts at each of the initial members of the GFIN.

 


[1] The initial membership of the GFIN consists of:
1. Abu Dhabi Global Market, 2. Autorité des marchés financiers of Quebec, Canada, 3. Australian Securities & Investments Commission, 4. Central Bank of Bahrain, 5. U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 6. Dubai Financial Services Authority, 7. Guernsey Financial Services Commission, 8. Hong Kong Monetary Authority, 9. Monetary Authority of Singapore, 10. Ontario Securities Commission of Canada and 11. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (an arm of the World Bank Group).

[2] https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/consultation/gfin-consultation-document.pdf

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